FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)- When Karina Rodriguez moved into her home near Woodward Park, she never thought she would be a victim of a porch pirate, however, she caught a man red-handed stealing her packages by her front door in broad daylight.
“He walks up to the door, grabs that package, and his face is clearly seen on camera and leaves like he belonged there,” says Rodriguez.
That is why on the biggest online shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to remain on high alert.
Tony Botti, spokesperson for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says these types of crimes are becoming more and more common in Fresno County.
“It is one of our more consistent crimes, it seems like it gets worse and worse every year, and with the holiday season here, we expect it to pick up even more,” says Botti.
Each year, Botti says thieves are getting more and more clever.
“The crook could be trailing a delivery driver, watch where they put a package down, sometimes have people on bicycles walking in neighborhoods, peering into porchways.”
These porch pirate thefts are considered misdemeanors. It is only a felony if the stolen items amount to more than $950 under Proposition 47.
“What makes it even more difficult is that we don’t have the crime committed in our presence, so you have this stale misdemeanor as it’s called, the crime dries up pretty quickly whereas a felony, provides more teeth where we can go after the person,” says Botti.