NewsCovering Colorado


Why laws are not protecting against porch pirates

Porch pirates steal from homes in Colorado Springs
Posted at 7:36 PM, Dec 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-20 22:37:25-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — It's the holiday season, which means it's also the time of year when more thieves are seeing opportunities to steal packages from the front door of your home.

Colorado state lawmakers have also tried to pass legislation to criminalize porch pirates and prevent this type of crime, but those efforts have failed.

In 2020, Senator Larry Liston sponsored a bill that would criminalize thieves with a first violation being an unclassified misdemeanor, and a second violation being an unclassified felony. In 2022, a bill was also proposed to implement a tax credit of $75 to help residents pay for lockboxes and anti-theft items. Both of these bills did not pass.

“We do need to clamp down on it. It's only gotten worse in the last two years, three years since I’ve sponsored the bill,” said Senator Larry Liston (R) representing Senate District 10.

Senator Liston said, “the party in power is quite frankly soft on crime, and they do not they feel that why should prosecute somebody for what is supposed to be a petty theft,” said Senator Liston. “But people are stealing multiple different items, and that’s not petty theft anymore, that’s a felony theft. Perpetrators of this know they’re not going to get prosecuted, so they just keep doing it.”

He said moving forward, he wants to continue to work with others to pass legislation to criminalize porch pirates and prevent this type of crime from happening in communities across Southern Colorado.

“We have to work in conjunction with the authorities, with the police, and we have to work in conjunction with the delivery companies and the retailers and the consumer,” said Senator Liston.

Meanwhile, News5 spoke with one neighbor whose packages were stolen from his home last week. Hundreds of dollars worth of items were taken on Tuesday, December 6.

“I thought, ya know, I’m safe that'll never happen,” said Duncan MacIvor.

MacIvor shared his Nest camera video outside of his home with News5. A woman with a face mask on, stole packages the packages. She then got into the passenger seat of a vehicle that had pulled into the drive way, and then drove off.

“I just assumed it was another delivery, so a couple seconds in, when you figure out what's going on, I don't know what I thought. It was galling, it was shocking,” said MacIvor.

MacIvor said it was a matter of about 30 minutes, from the time the packages were dropped off, to the time he called the police.

“Because the fact that I didn't have a license plate number or any way of recognizing the face because she did have a COVID mask on, they had said that the best route would be to file a police report,” said MacIvor.

Moving forward, MacIvor said there’s a few things he’ll do different when he knows a package will arrive.

“I'm finally meeting my neighbors, trying to get some numbers so that if I do have a package, and they do leave it on my front door step, I can text someone and say ‘hey, go get that for me right now,’” said MacIvor.

A spokesperson with CSPD says during the holidays, they make sure to put out messaging via Next Door apps and neighborhood watch groups to raise awareness about the risks of porch pirates. They also put out prevention tips on their social media pages.

The statement from CSPD also included some tips for people to help reduce their risk in being a victim of porch pirates. Those include:

  1. Use a designated drop of secure location. Amazon has hub Lockers where you get a code and can then pick up your item safely.
  2. You can leave directions for placing packages at backdoors or utilizing timed delivery and having a neighbor pick up the item once they are notified it is delivered.
  3. There are commercial items and lock boxes where a package can be placed inside, and once there can not be removed by anyone but the owner.
  4. If people have a smart home lock or smart garage door opener, packages can be placed in the garage or inside the door and the door locks or closes.


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