Porch pirate caught on surveillance video stealing a package from a Bryan apartment complex

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 8:07 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Tis the season for sending and receiving packages. It’s also the season when thieves look to take advantage of people who have packages in their yards.

According to a study from C&R Research, 43% of Americans have been a victim of package theft. As we inch closer and closer to Christmas, these types of crimes are expected to increase.

A Bryan woman is the latest victim to come forward. Surveillance video at the Saddlewood Apartment captured the moment when thieves took off with a Christmas gift meant for the woman’s 13-year-old daughter.

“FedEx dropped it off at 9:26, and about 10 minutes later, a car drove around with a woman and a man. The woman got out and took the package,” said Donna Scott. " Because she hasn’t been able to get anything really in the last two years, this was the year I was able to get her things. I was really excited about getting her that big gift that she wanted.”

In a giving community like Bryan-College Station, Scott says she wants thieves to know that they have other options.

“This is a small community. If you look around, people do give away things for free a lot,’ said Scott. “So if you’re really struggling or needed help, you could have gone and got it a different way other than stealing people’s packages.”

There are options for those who may be cautious about receiving packages at home. Retailers like Amazon have lockers where packages can be sent and retrieved 24 hours a day. Businesses like Postal Plus in Bryan offer shipping and receiving services where you can pick up your packages during business hours for a small fee. Becky Cochener is the owner of Postal Plus. She says the cost is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your packages are safe and secure.

“I know there are porch pirates and any number of things that can go wrong, whether you’re at an apartment building or even a house,” said Cochener. “And so a lot of people like to use our package receiving service, just as a safe alternative for packages to come here. We offer the ability to text and email notify people when the packages have arrived.

“I think it’s a really helpful tool,” said Cochener. “t’s super convenient. As soon as the packages arrive, we check them in, they get notified, and then they can come and pick them up anytime during our business hours.”

Officials with the College Station Police Department say although porch pirates and package theft is nothing new, it’s up to the entire community to help prevent these crimes. They say if you see something, you should say something.

“Sadly, these are always criminals looking for any way that they can get money,” said College Station Police Department Public Information Officer Tristan Lopez. “One of the things to look out for is if you stay in the neighborhood, if you’re in the neighborhood during the day, if you’re a delivery worker yourself, or if you have a job that puts you in residential neighborhoods during the workweek, you should look for others who may be engaging in suspicious activity.”

“Identifying suspicious activity and reporting that to the police department, oftentimes it’s people reporting suspicious activity that helps us catch the criminals,” said Lopez.

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