MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities man has made it his “duty” to mess with thieves who are ruining some peoples’ holiday.
“Porch Pirates” are a big problem this time of year. With many people ordering gifts online, packages filled with sometimes expensive electronics are being left on front doorsteps. Thieves are taking advantage of the opportunity and stealing boxes right off porches in broad daylight.
For the victims, it stinks — but one man’s effort is making it stink even more for the criminals.
“Originally it was just to have fun,” said the man who asked we hide his identity. For the purpose of this story, we’ll call him John Smith.
A few months ago Smith says he ordered a new band for his watch online. When it wasn’t on his doorstep, he checked the surveillance video footage from the camera in his Ring doorbell. It showed some teenagers taking the package.
“So I decided to start playing a joke back at them to see if they were bold enough to come back again,” he said.
With a little help from his pets, he packaged his own special delivery of animal waste.
He jokingly named one of them the “iPoo,” which was an iPhone case filled with dog feces. He even included a note that said “crime stinks.”
Smith boxed it up and left it on his doorstep. The next morning, it was gone. The thief was caught on camera grabbing the package and quickly running back to a waiting vehicle.
Sadly, it’s a prank he’s pulled off several times this holiday season. He said sometimes the package is taken within less than two hours.
“I never thought that I would have trouble keeping up with demand of boxes of excrement, but that seems to be the new, hot holiday gift this year,” he said.
Porch pirates have been pillaging packages all across the Twin Cities. Columbia Heights Police arrested Geanna Jean Sanders this week after she was caught on camera stealing from someone’s front porch. Someone saw the video on social media and called 911 with an anonymous tip to identify Sanders.
In Edina, police planted a GPS tracking device in a fake computer box that was left on a homeowner’s doorstep. When the package began to move, police got an alert and stopped a vehicle holding the tracking device. The driver, 36-year-old Raymone Montel Hester, was arrested. Edina Police said they found more stolen packages in his car.
“It’s an issue where everyone has to have their stuff delivered to the office,” said Smith, who now makes sure all of his packages are sent to his job rather than his home. “I think it’s just sad. I feel empathy for the neighborhood, but also the people who are in tough times and out there stealing packages. I mean, that’s not a good story either.”
The videos from his doorbell camera have been turned over to police, though we doubt he wants his stolen property to be returned.
“If other people are getting increased awareness about the issues, that’s great,” he said.