Porch pirates are reprehensible. It's so tempting to seek revenge. Unfortunately, it often backfires.

In South Austin the footage from numerous doorbell cams showed the same group of suspects and vehicles repeatedly stealing packages from neighborhood homes. To frustrate the pirates, a couple there put a box of dirty diapers in a box on their porch that the pirates then stole.

Rather than deterring them, the pirates returned and smeared the baby poop all over the couples front door.  Then came back a half hour later with cow manure and spread it all over the couple's car and porch. Austin Police tell a local tv news crew, there, that the manure smearing might bring the perpetrators a criminal mischief charge.

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As tempting as it can be to try and get even with porch pirates, it is not recommended. For one thing,  booby trapping a package that results in injury to the thief can incur charges for you or costly lawsuits.Putting poop in a box might bring you some momentary satisfaction, but brazen thieves, like the ones in Austin, might be motivated for escalating the situation. You can't be sure they will stop at just reckless mischief.

San Angolans  and West Texans are no strangers to porch pirates. With Amazon's  first ever Prime Early Access Sale coming up October 11th and 12th, there are going to be a lot of packages delivered. After that, it's the holiday season the peak of home delivery season.

It is a big problem in Texas.  Back in 2019 HB 37 was enacted in Texas and added felony charges based on the number of packages stolen, who the victims are and the use of identifying information on the stolen mail to commit fraud. I

There are many who don't think Texas goes far enough.  In fact, in the U.S. House Congressman Dean Phillips of Minnesota has introduced The Porch Pirates Act in the House.  It would treat theft of packages from private carriers the same as theft of packages from the U.S. Post Office.

Stealing from the Postal Service can mean up to five years in jail and a quarter of a million dollar fine.

Despite the risks,  which can include up to ten years in prison for habitual porch pirates, the incidence of porch piracy continues to grow. A late 2021 study by SafeWise, a home security publication found that 64% have had a package stolen. One of the hardest hit cities is nearby San Antonio.

Police say while surveillance doorbell cameras can catch package thefts on camera,  that doesn't mean the perpetrators will be caught.  In fact, only 10% of porch pirates are ever caught. The best prevention is to keep your packages off the porch in the first place.

You can ship it to work.  Have it delivered to a neighbor who may be home when the package is delivered.  You should also carefully track your deliveries, so you can retrieve it immediately.

Sadly, as long as there are porch deliveries, there will be porch pirates.  Plan ahead,  so you can avoid having your expensive packages stolen.

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