RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s that time of year when a lot of people are still getting packages delivered to their homes, and authorities report that “porch pirates” have been taking advantage.
Porch pirates have been caught on camera all over the country as they swipe packages from their rightful owners. Recently, package thieves have been spotted in Richmond.
Norman Ocampo — who lives in the Woodland Heights community — said his home security camera captured a man pretending to be a delivery person Thursday afternoon.
“[I] saw a guy, a gentleman in front of my house with a couple of packages and said ‘Hey are you delivering packages?’ and he was like ‘Yea,'” Ocampo said. “This gentleman was pretty quick.”
In the video, the man can be seen slowly moving up the steps, grabbing the package and then walking away.
The thief didn’t have a typical delivery uniform on.
Ocampo called the police and alerted other neighbors about the incident.
“I just wanted to let people know that he’s definitely on the hunt for these packages,” he said.
Retailers say a surge in online sales has led to a rise in these types of thefts.
According to crime data from the Richmond Police Department, property crimes are up 22% compared to the same time period last year.
Law enforcement agencies have started recommending that consumers take certain precautions when ordering deliveries. These recommendations include instructing delivery services to leave packages in hidden areas, to have packages delivered to neighbors or friends, and to report missing packages.
Ocampo is now hoping his video and experience can help someone else.
“It’s already a stressful time of year for many people,” he said.