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News Release

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Media Relations

Beware of “Porch Pirates” NR15255pv

Reseda: Detectives have released a picture of a woman stealing packages from residential porches in the San Fernando Valley.

"We refer to them as Porch Pirates," said Capt. Paul Vernon, who heads up the West Valley Patrol Division. "In the age of online shopping, it's a growing, common trend."

The 20-something year old woman pictured was captured on a security camera taking home-delivered pet medicine from a porch in the 7800 block of Lasaine Avenue around 4:30 p.m. on July 12, 2015.

Detectives point out the woman's distinct patterned purse with a purple strap as a way someone might identify her.

"We share the public's frustration about this type of crime," Capt. Vernon explained. "The good news is, thanks to public tips, we have made several arrests recently of persons involved in these thefts, but we'll have to remain persistent and focused as porch pirating isn't going away."

Detectives offer the following tips to protect residents from Porch Pirates:

  • Have packages delivered to locations where a person is home
  • Have packages delivered to the vendor's local store for pick up
  • Have packages held by the delivery company for personal pick up
  • Ask for notification when package is delivered so you can have a trusted neighbor pick up for you
  • Add delivery instructions like, requiring a signature upon delivery, or where to place parcels
Detectives warn that most porch pirating occurs during the day when residents are away, and the thieves are often involved in identify theft in addition to taking parcels.

Captain Vernon stressed, "Neighbors working together can harden the target against Porch Pirates."

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Det. William Dunn, West Valley Burglary detectives, at (818) 374-7674. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Online tips may be placed at Click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.