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Residents, police credit home security video in ‘porch pirate’ arrests

Posted at 10:33 PM, Dec 12, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS – From the lights to the decorations, Christmas at the Peterson home is a big deal.

“My father always had cutouts and things, carolers and Santa Claus and all that in the front yard,” said Larry Peterson.

That’s why the Petersons have surveillance tools in place, including a recording door bell and several other cameras, just in case so-called ‘porch pirates’ target their home.

“We value what we can give, and when somebody takes something from us that we want to give someone, that really hurts deep,” Peterson said.

The Colorado Springs Police Department is on watch too. In a Wednesday announcement, the department’s Strategic Investigations Unit arrested four people accused of property theft in 48 hours.

Sgt. Keith Wrede, who leads the SIU, said the investigation was helped in large part by surveillance footage capture by homeowners.

Colorado Springs Police, with the help of the public, arrested four people connected to a 'porch pirate' operation on Dec. 12, 2018.

“We started matching that video to the incoming case reports, and our crime analysts were able to come up with suspect information,” Wrede said.

The help came from more than just the camera recording the initial crime.

“We’re going to a neighborhood follow up where we’re looking at all the cameras and watching the pattern occur. We can watch cars drive away. We can watch people drive away,” Wrede said.

That extra information gives the department’s Crime Analysis Unit the means to piece together key components — like a vehicle of interest, license plate and direction traveled — as the department tries to curb property theft in one of the busiest shopping times of the year.

If you or someone you know has lost property to this type of theft, Wrede suggests you make a report either online, or by calling 719-444-7000. At minimum, police need a victim and price of the items stolen.