NORFOLK, Va. – Doorbell video shows a man running up to the porch of a Norfolk home and snatching up several packages in a matter of seconds in broad daylight.
The brazen theft was caught on Stephanie Allen’s doorbell camera a couple of weeks ago.
“Before I could even get out here to get the packages, someone had pulled in front of my house,” said Allen. “They stopped at a stop sign, so that they weren’t caught. They got out of the car, walked up my walkway, grabbed my packages, almost fell and then ran, and they took off.”
Since then, Allen said she’s been living a nightmare.
“As soon as saw the video, I felt completely violated,” she said. “There’s no reason to do any of that.”
The Navy veteran said her vital medication for her PTSD was inside one of the stolen packages. She said the prescription helps her sleep at night.
“They help to control my dreams,” said Allen. “I thrash around at night. If sleep without them, my service dog has to lay across me to calm me down. It’s just a hassle.”
The theft has also impacted her holiday spirit. This year, she said she didn’t decorate.
“Me and my husband really didn’t have a Christmas because I’m usually the lady on the street who decorates the house for the block,” said Allen.
Allen said she has the medication delivered to her home through the VA. Picking them up at the hospital isn’t really an option for her. She said her husband has compromised immune system.
“It’s like a Catch-22,” she said. “If I go there, I’m subjecting myself to possibly getting sick and bringing it home, or these porch pirates coming back to my house and stealing.”
To keep porch pirates from stealing your packages, experts have some suggestions. Ship them to work; get a neighbor who’s home to keep an eye out; let others know about the theft on social media, or community apps like Nextdoor; require a signature for the package. You can also ask for alternative pickup and delivery options.
Allen immediately alerted her neighbors on Nextdoor, hoping this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“When people steal things, you don’t know what’s in those boxes or how people have to survive with what’s in those boxes,” said Allen. “There are people who depend on this medication. We need our medications.”
The VA has mailed out another prescription for Allen and this time she said she’ll be on the lookout for when it comes.
As for the thieves, she’s asking them to do the right thing and bring back her medication, no questions asked.