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‘Porch pirate’ problems proliferate as holidays approach, Asheville police say

By Andrew James

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — The Asheville Police Department is investigating several reports of stolen packages across the city.

Police say this type of crime often picks up as the holidays draw near.

“The first time I was like, sad. I went through a real grieving process, and now I’m not as sad, but I’m like, you know, angry,” said a West Asheville man who asked not to be identified.

He said he’s had packages stolen twice this year. On Monday, a package was mistakenly delivered to his neighbor’s home at 3:19 p.m. Security camera footage from his neighbor shows a man taking the package off the porch just a few minutes later. The contents of the package are estimated to cost around $200.

“In this case where it’s so fast, it’s like how do you even do that? How do you protect against that,” the man said.

The Asheville Police Department is investigating the case. Lt. Brien Griffin said video is extremely helpful, but the quality of the video is very important.

Security footage of someone taking a package off the porch of a West Asheville home. (Video still: Andrew Suhren)

“When we have video footage or pictures that are clear, and they have to be clear, it’s tremendous to help solve those cases,” Griffin said.

According to Lt. Griffin, these types of crimes are often never reported to police. As for ways to keep your deliveries safe from so-called porch pirates, Lt. Griffin said to consider signing up for alerts of when your packages are delivered or have packages delivered to your job or a friend or family member’s home.

“The holidays are fun. It’s a good time, but you still have to be careful, and unfortunately, there’s predators out there that are there to do the wrong thing,” he said.

If you have any information that can help with the investigation, contact the Asheville Police Department with an anonymous tip using the TIP2APD smartphone application (search “Asheville PD” in your app store) or by texting TIP2APD to 847411. You can also contact APD at 828-252-1110.

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