VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – With the usual holiday shopping and more people staying home because of COVID-19 concerns, holiday deliveries are increased - and that means opportunity for thieves known as porch pirates.
“Getting rid of that opportunity cuts down on a lot of crime,” said Master Police Officer Jason Karangelen of the Virginia Beach Police Department. “The best thing you can do is to prevent the opportunity for crime to happen.”
Some suggestions for deliveries:
- If you ordered from a store, pick it up. Many now have curbside services
- Some companies like Amazon have lockers you can use for free at various stores
- Request the deliveries come on a particular day when you plan to be home or can have a trusted neighbor pick up the packages
- Have the items delivered to your work
MPO Karangelen says that security cameras, especially high-resolution ones that provide a clear picture, can often help them identify the criminal afterward. However, he says it doesn’t always deter them.
“You would think being caught on video would discourage criminals from committing crimes and being caught, but it really doesn’t,” said Karangelen.
Vehicle larcenies are also on the rise. Karangelen said that in the Third Precinct alone, from September through November there were nearly 160 reports of car break-ins and nearly 80 cars were stolen. He said it often happens because people become complacent and don’t lock their doors or leave their car running unattended, which can ultimately lead to a dangerous situation.
“Somebody stealing your vehicle is not going to drive the speed limit, you know, trying to get away,” added Karangelen, who said that can lead to an accident.
Victims of theft are encouraged to report it. Click here for a link to the ePro, Electronic Police Reports Online.