Portsmouth homeowner takes action against porch pirates

Posted at 3:31 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 17:00:43-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A recent survey says nearly one in every 12 Americans have had a holiday package stolen from their home. It is a familiar sight in Hampton Roads as well.

In Portsmouth, Christopher Rudder became a part of the statistic when a thief stole a package off of his porch. His doorbell camera captured the act.

Rudder says the stolen package had new sneakers in it.

Christopher Rudder's "bait box"

"These are some nice sneakers; I really wanted to wear them this weekend. For them to not be there -  I was devastated," explained Rudder. "I was really upset; it's frustrating."

According to CBS, porch pirates have become so common in some areas police departments have partnered with companies to place decoy packages. Inside the packages are GPS trackers.

Related: How to keep porch pirates from stealing your packages this holiday season

No such partnership currently exists in Portsmouth, which is why Rudder decided to take matters into his own hands to get justice.

A few days after his sneakers were stolen, Rudder created what he calls a "bait box." Inside of the box he placed a note, old sneakers and droppings from his 3-year-old dog, Cesar.

Shortly after placing the box on his porch, his cameras caught a thief taking it. Instead of frustration, Rudder says he feels vindicated.

"I hope it sends the message that you can't do this," said Rudder. "I just hope that that person knows that your days will be numbered when it comes to taking boxes off our porch, that's for sure."

Related: Packages stolen off same Norfolk porch two nights in a row 

Rudder says he has shared his bait box idea as well as video of the thieves on social media. He says many of his neighbors plan to create their own bait box to discourage thieves.

Police suggest sending packages to a secure location instead of to your home.