KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
December 6, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
A porch pirate stole from a Katy man. While waiting for police, he’s launched his own investigation and discovered that this thief has stolen from several Cinco Ranch homes.
Screen shot from video provided by homeowner.
'I Didn't Think it Would Happen Here'
“I moved here in June and never had any packages stolen before,” says a Katy resident, who lives in Cinco Ranch Northwest and wishes to stay anonymous. “I did not think it would happen here.”
The thief was caught on the resident's Ring doorbell camera Sunday. In the video you can see that he has a tattoo on his arm, and he drove off in a blue BMW 3 or 4 series with a sport package.
“I did some research and found the guy,” says the resident. “I have informed the police and it is in their hands now.”
The Katy resident has sent the information he has uncovered to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and is awaiting a response from them.
This Katy porch pirate victim took to social media sites to share his experience and to warn others. From looking online he found other videos and images of the same thief taking packages from other Katy homes. He has stolen from many Katy families.
Porch Piracy is 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.
Sadly, this time of year this is a crime that authorities all say goes up due to the amount of online shopping and therefore increase in packages being delivered.
"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.
“I hope they catch and prosecute him because he has stolen from many,” says the resident.