Porch Pirating Season is here-BEWARE

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Porch Pirate season is here and that means paying extra attention to your shipping delivery dates.

With the holiday season upon us, online shopping is on the rise, and so are deliveries. But just as you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of your gifts,  porch pirates are waiting to steal your deliveries. 

“Thefts do increase during the holiday season. The large majority of those thefts are going to be your crimes of opportunity. which means they are preventable thefts,” says Jamie Heath, PIO for Collegedale Police. 

With online shopping becoming more and more popular, Local law enforcement says being prepared for your deliveries and having a plan in place when you can’t be home, can prevent you from becoming a victim.

“Install things like cameras on your porch. One of the other things that are becoming more popular are those lockers that people can get on their porches that are programmable. Invisibly having some good relationships with your neighbors helps out a lot. Maybe schedule packages to be home while on your lunch break, requiring signatures on all your deliveries,” says Heath.

This type of  crime used to be considered a misdemeanor,  but now in the state of Tennessee it is a Class C felony-  so,  if convicted, perpetrators can now do time. 

“The porch pirating law is basically the left law-except on the second offense. The second offense now automatically makes it a felony. The first offense is usually a theft charge that is a result of how much the property was worth,” says Bobby Rush, Hamilton County Sheriffs office. 

Officials say that upgrading this law  to harsher penalties means these criminals will finally be held accountable for their hurtful crimes. 

“A lot of these items aren’t going to rise to a felony by their own merit. It’s rare that you see someone receive something of value over $1,000. It could be just something sentimental with no tangible value and it being charged as a misdemeanor was not fair,” says Wendy Boles, postal inspector. 

If you notice a package has gone missing, contact the vendor and your local law enforcement agency.

 

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News