Watch CBSN Live

As online orders increase, so do "porch pirate" thefts

Police in Los Angeles say they've broken up a crime ring of so-called "porch pirates"
Police in Los Angeles say they've broken up a... 02:52

Rick Deckman was expecting UPS to leave two packages on his porch, but instead, home surveillance video caught an unexpected visitor pulling up in a U-Haul and stealing his stuff in seconds.

"I was blown away. I couldn't believe this was actually happening," Deckman said. "He was in such a hurry just to go get the box, get out of here and follow the UPS truck to another location."

Police raided the alleged thief's apartment using a license plate captured by Deckman's surveillance video, reports CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal. Inside his home, they found hundreds of packages police believe were stolen and would have been re-sold.

"There was just piles of stuff everywhere," Officer Daryl Scoggins said.

"Porch piracy" is happening across the country. In Pittsburgh, a woman pushing a toddler in a stroller swiped packages from inside a screen door. In Chicago, a neighbor filmed an interaction on his cell phone after he saw a man taking packages from a front porch.

"Why are you picking them up?" Gene Pierson asked in the video.

"Delivery," the man responded.

"You're not delivering. You went and picked them up," Pierson said in the exchange.

Law enforcement said the problem is growing at an alarming rate as shopping habits are changing.

"I would say there's an increase that I see or the calls that I get is about 50 percent more of items being stolen than it was last year," Scoggins said.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers said almost half of their shopping will be online this holiday season with free shipping and shipping promotions being a major selling point.

Developers in San Francisco say they have a solution in a new app called "Doorman" that will hold your packages in a warehouse and then deliver them to your home when you're home.

"The whole idea of the company is, be able to schedule packages on your schedule, so we deliver 6 p.m. to midnight seven days a week," Doorman CEO Zander Adell said.

As for Deckman, he still got his packages, but from the police.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.