CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Brazen ‘porch pirate’ in East Hamilton


Published June 25, 2020 at 2:08 pm

A video of a ‘porch pirate’ snatching a parcel from the porch of an East Hamilton home has surfaced this week.

A video of a ‘porch pirate’ snatching a parcel from the porch of an East Hamilton home has surfaced this week.

The video was shared by a Hamilton Redditor earlier this week and it shows a masked man jumping out of a red pickup truck to grab a package that had been delivered to a house in the Parkdale and Barton Street area.

Porch Pirate in Hamilton yesterday near Parkdale and Barton. Anybody recognize the truck/thief? from r/Hamilton

The Redditor who shared the security footage says they were able to obtain a refund from Amazon for the stolen goods.

The fact that the theft took place in broad daylight, and judging from the footage, a relatively well-travelled street, speaks to the increasing brazenness of so-called ‘porch pirates.’

Hamilton Police have made several arrests in the last few months that are related to cases such as this.

But, it’s important to note that police are somewhat limited in how they can pursue these kinds of cases, particularly if the victim of the crime has been reimbursed by the company who sent the package.

“The complainant becomes Amazon if the victim was reimbursed,” explained Hamilton Police Const. Lorraine Edwards.

It then becomes the responsibility of the company who sent the package to follow up with police.

This seems to be the case with the most recent porch pirate theft in the video.

There are also some limitations to investigating these crimes. Most notably, a lot of residents likely don’t have the technology to capture it on video.

“It’s extremely important to share video, if you have it,” Edwards told InTheHammer.

“At times the investigation may have limited information to follow-up. Each case is different.”

In the above case, some Redditors wondered whether or not a case for trespassing could be made.

It seems as though there are limitations to what police can do in that kind of situation as well.

“Trespass can only be applied if the person was ‘found committing the offence’ there must be a person that witnessed a suspect on the property at the time of the offence,” Edwards said.

“At this point, the suspect-person could then be charged with theft and possession of stolen property as well as trespassing.”

So what can you do to protect yourself from falling victim to porch pirates?

The Hamilton Police Service offers the following suggestions:

  • Have your package delivered to your work, friend or relative’s home
  • Have your package held at your local post office for pickup
  • Request a confirmation signature be obtained upon delivery
  • Request the package be left in a special area at the residence out of plain view
  • Have an available package box or container on your porch to conceal delivery items
  • Install surveillance cameras at front door
  • Ask your neighbour to pick-up the package from your porch

Victims of these crimes can file reports over the phone at (905)546-4925 or online here.

“It all starts by someone giving us a call and we can take it from there,” Edwards said.

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