TAMPA (WFLA) – ‘Tis the season for brown boxes to pile up across front doors everywhere. While people across the Bay area on high alert for porch pirates, local law enforcement agencies say that package thefts are actually lower than in previous years
Nationally, burglaries were down nearly 13 percent and larceny was down about 6 percent nationwide in 2018 from the prior year, according to the FBI.
8 On Your Side reached out to local law enforcement agencies to find out what kind of trend they’re seeing in porch pirate cases.
While it’s difficult to find specific reports pertaining to stolen packages, two agencies were able to gather data.
In Tampa, law enforcement officials say the amount of reports they’ve received last month about stolen parcels was significantly lower — from 25 in November 2018 to only 10 last month — likely due to heightened use of home surveillance systems such as Ring.
Auburndale police chief Andy Ray says only one such report was made in November 2018, and last month he saw none.
Last year, Tampa Bay was ranked the No. 9 metro area in the country with the highest number of “porch pirate” thefts, by security company SafeWise. This year, the area wasn’t in the top 10.
While a downward trend of thefts is a positive thing, those numbers, however, only reflect what is reported.
“Please take into consideration that it’s likely many people who suffer these thefts work with the shipper/retailer and they often replace the items based on the caller’s complaint,” Ray said. “Those, many times, are not reported to local law enforcement. “
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