NewsCovering Kern County


As online shopping increases so do porch pirates

Package payback: Milwaukee woman leaves smelly surprise for package thieves
Posted at 2:56 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 20:24:06-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — According to newly released industry data, retail shopping increased nearly 30% in sales (27.61) from 2019 to 2020 and is projected to continue rising this year by nearly 15% (14.28).

But with the growth in online shopping, it’s also causing an increase in porch pirates.

Since people were home during COVID porch pirates lost their opportunity to strike but now that we have returned to work unfortunately so have the thieves.

Law enforcement officials said one thing that hasn't changed in order to protect your delivery packages you should track and watch it.

“It is not unusual as we get closer to Christmas to start seeing additional reports” said Sgt. Robert Pair the PIO for Bakersfield Police Department.

Porch pirates’ prey on your package and then within minutes of it being delivered, its gone.

Danielle Kernkamp with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said they’ve seen an increase in this type of theft.

Statista, an online portal that provides global data for digital economy saw in 2020 a little more than $4 billion in sales and projects nearly $5 billion in sales for 2021.

More online shopping means more oppurtunities for theives to take advantage of.

“There has been an increase calls and reports of packages of being stolen from homes, especially being stolen from the front porches of residences. A common tactic for thieves is oftentimes to follow the delivery drivers into certain neighborhoods and steal the package shortly after it’s been delivered,” said Kernkamp.

While some people may think they shouldn’t report this type of crime Pair and Kernkamp said reporting it is the most important thing you can do.

“Although there’s a perception that maybe you shouldn’t or we’re too busy, it’s important that people that are the victims of this do report it because otherwise we don’t know where it’s happening,” said Pair.

“Oftentimes someone who commits that crime is going to keep doing it until they get caught, so if more people are able to report it, get pictures of the suspect, and their vehicle, license plate, things like that. It makes it a lot easier to try to catch that person, rather than if 1 person reports it out of the 5 crimes that they’ve committed,” said Kernkamp.

Other things you can do include Ring Doorbell cameras or anytime of video surveillance.

“There’s a wide range of things you can do to minimize your attractiveness as a target some of those are having surveillance system and advertising the fact that you have surveillance system,” said Pair.

Kernkamp added you can also track your package but if you can’t pick it up because you’re at work to see if other options are available.

“Most delivery companies allow you to track that delivery process of your package and then send you notifications once it’s been delivered, once you get that notification you can have a trusted neighbor grab the package off your front porch shortly after delivery.” Said Kernkamp.

No matter the crime pair said they will do their best to hold the suspect responsible.

“We will investigate them thoroughly and try to hold those responsible, accountable for their actions,” said Pair

Pair and Kernkamp added if you are using Amazon they also have lockers you can get your packages shipped to.

All you have to do is go to their website you can see behind me and type in your zip code and the closest locations will come up.