In the quiet neighborhood just a few blocks from St. Paul’s Summit Avenue, Ana Perez and her family had a close encounter with a porch thief. It happened one early evening on a weeknight, as Ana’s older daughter opened the front door and caught the thief in the act.
Although the Ring doorbell didn’t alert them due to a low battery, it captured the entire incident. The footage showed a man picking up Ana’s younger daughter’s bike and scooter before walking away. To make matters worse, he also had a stack of their neighbor’s mail in his hand. Ana recalls hearing the man talking to himself, clearly not in the right state of mind.
This incident serves as a stark reminder that thieves are brazen enough to strike at any time of day. Even with apparent security measures in place, such as doorbell cameras, no front porch item seems safe from their clutches. As Ana puts it, “They don’t care about the time of day anymore. They simply have a mission to take whatever they can.”
This issue is not isolated to Ana’s neighborhood. Across the country, police departments have reported a surge in porch thefts—a direct result of the exponential rise in online shopping. In fact, it is estimated that 113 million packages were stolen in 2023 alone.
Law enforcement agencies are taking action against these so-called “porch pirates” and urging consumers to remain vigilant. Just this month, the Lakeville Police arrested a 37-year-old woman suspected of multiple thefts in the northern part of the city. When apprehended, authorities discovered 80 stolen items in her vehicle, which were connected to 30 victims. The stolen packages have been returned to their rightful owners, and formal charges are expected to be filed after the Christmas holiday.
While deliveries, particularly during the holiday season, are the primary target for porch thieves, Ana Perez’s experience highlights the need to be cautious of any item left on your porch. She hopes that people will take the initiative to secure their belongings, acknowledging the unfortunate reality of the times we live in.