KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
November 17, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
‘Tis the season for holiday shopping. But the rising coronavirus numbers has kept many gift-givers out of the stores. Instead, they are shopping and ordering online, making Katy porches prime targets for porch pirating.
Authorities remind residents to lock up cars and protect their purchases.
Protect Yourself Against Porch Pirates
While porch pirating crimes affect Katy residents year-round, local authorities warn residents of “opportunistic grinches” looking for packages left on porches.
Constable Ted Heap Offers Tips for Katy Residents to Protect Packages:
If you can't be at home during normal delivery hours, have someone you trust receive the packages instead.
Have packages delivered to where you are, such as your place of work. If you live in an apartment, have your packages delivered to the front office.
Request that online retailers require a signature when delivering a package.
Have UPS and FedEx hold your packages at their facilities until you can pick them up.
If your packages are stolen, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Major Chad Norvell with Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office (soon to be the Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable) says that while they haven’t been getting calls about porch piracy, he is sure they will.
“Have the package delivered to your work, if possible, or utilize Amazon’s program in which they put it in your garage,” says Major Norvell. “Additionally, be on the lookout for vehicles following delivery trucks or appearing to be rolling through the neighborhood looking for packages.”
Protect Vehicles from Break-ins
Thieves look for more than packages on porches. Vehicles parked in driveways in Katy communities are also targeted. Constable Ted Heap took to social media to warn residents and share important tips.
“Be sure to lock your doors and fully close all windows too,” says Constable Ted Heap. “It is amazing how many reported car burglaries come from victims who did not lock their doors.”
“Move any valuables out of sight before you park your vehicle,” says Constable Heap. “These crooks aren’t just looking for expensive items. They will often simply take loose change, car chargers, sunglasses or garage door openers.”
Other tips include:
Remove keys - Never leave your vehicle running while unattended. Don’t leave your keys in your vehicle or hide them in or around your car.
Lighting - Improve exterior lighting around your vehicle if you can’t park it in the garage.
Security - An outside video security system will also help protect your home. These security systems are becoming more affordable but be sure to get one that records high quality video.
Anti-theft Devices - Use anti-theft devices such as a steering wheel lock, electronic alarm, ignition kill-switch or a vehicle tracking device.
“If you discover your car has been burglarized, call your local law enforcement agency before touching anything on or inside your vehicle,” instructs Constable Heap.
In many cases, the suspect leaves behind fingerprints, so it is important to preserve the scene in order to best assist authorities.