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Katy Family Hopes Public Can Identify Porch Pirate Who Stole Several Packages

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

March 28, 2024

By Natalie Cook Clark

 

A long time Katy family caught a porch pirate on their doorbell camera this week. They hope the public will recognize him from the video as he stole several packages.  


Screen shot taken from security footage courtesy of Ivana Sidlo

 

Multiple Packages Taken

The Sidlo family has lived in Katy’s Nottingham Country neighborhood for 15 years and this is the first time a thief has taken a package from their front door. Around midnight on Tuesday, March 26, 2024 a thief was seen taking multiple packages from their front porch.




The family was shocked to wake the next morning to find the crime on their home doorbell camera. The packages contained various items such paper towels, toilet paper, phone portable battery, phone car holder, gardening scissors, etc. The total value stolen was around $200.

 

The Sidlo family reported the crime, which is referred to as porch piracy, to the police. For several years this kind of crime has been reported in the Katy area and most associate it with the holidays when online shopping picks up. However, as the Sidlo family experienced, porch pirates can strike at any time.

 

“I hope that by sharing this video someone who knows him, will recognize him and will report him to the police so he can have consequences for his actions,” says Ivana Sidlo.

 

Watch the Video



If anyone recognizes him, please contact Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 5 at 281-463-6666.


A Federal Crime

Porch Piracy is a Federal crime. The punishment for porch Piracy ranges from six months to 10 years in prison and includes a fine of between $4,000 and $10,000. In addition, charges can be upgraded for cases that include identity theft of disabled or elderly victims.

 

"These crimes are serious and the charges should be appropriately serious too," says Harris County Constable Ted Heap. "Our deputies take pride in protecting the residents of our precinct from these thieves who have no right to steal from our homes and businesses."






Constable Discusses Tips to Protect Your Packages

 

1. Make Sure Someone is Home

Have someone home during the package delivery time. If not, ask the delivery driver to put the package in an inconspicuous place such as behind a plant. Thieves usually do a quick glance at front porches and don't get out to look around the home perimeter.

 

2. Deliver to a Neighbor

 Have the package delivered to a trusted friend or family member who will be home the day of delivery.

 

3. Ask for Help

Have a trusted neighbor, who is home during the day, collect packages from your doorstep rather than letting them sit outside until you return. Most online retailers offer tracking services, so you can see when your orders are delivered.

 

4. Deliver to Work

 If at work, have the package delivered to your workplace.

 

5. Deliver to an Apartment Office

If you live in an apartment, have your packages delivered to the front office, where you can

pick them up at your convenience.

 

6. Require a Signature

Request that online retailers require a signature when delivering a package. That will ensure that your deliveries don't sit on your doorstep for hours at a time.

 

7. Request a Hold

Have UPS and FedEx hold your packages at their facilities until you can pick them up.

 

8. Use Amazon Lockers

Amazon lockers are popping up in the area with four (4) locations now in Katy. Your package is delivered to the locker to be picked up at your convenience. The customer receives an email when it is delivered. Packages must be picked up within 3 days.

 

9. Report Theft

If your packages are stolen, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. Ted Heap stated that all thefts should be reported to their office. Many people have cameras so if your home doesn't, chances are other cameras in the neighborhood caught the thief.




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