Porch Pirates a Holiday Issue

Common Councilmember recalls close call while away at work

Tom Puckett
December 24, 2018 - 4:00 am

Facebook/Buffalo Police Dept.

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Police call it a crime of opportunity. Porch pirates swooping in and taking gifts you've ordered online. It nearly happened to one Buffalo Common Councilmember.

"Two people got out of a car, and ran two doors down and grabbed packages that were on a porch, and my neighbor started yelling at them and they ran away," says Joel Feroleto. "When I got home from work, I noticed a package sitting on my front porch, and it was opened. What I had in there wasn't taken. It was just a couple of books inside."

Feroleto says more people are ordering gifts online and he suggests having packages sent to their workplace or require a signature, or ask a neighbor to keep an eye out.

Cheektowaga has seen porch pirate incidents increase in the last few weeks, says Assistant Police Chief Mike Sliwinski. "We're actually going to enhance patrols in the next week," says Sliwinski.

Sliwinski says what's in the package is irrelevant to porch pirates. "It's just a crime of opportunity," says Sliwinski. "It appears people cruise the area look for any packages on the stoops and grab whatever they can at that point."

Sliwinski recommends a video doorbell system as well as asking neighbors to keep an eye out. In fact, one such incident may have been stopped by a video doorbell. "An individual was seen approaching a house where a package was. We're not sure if he saw the Ring system, but whatever stopped him from taking the package. Something scared him off," says Sliwinski.

As for Feroleto, the rest of his packages are going to his workplace.

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