Search underway for porch pirate who stole $500 worth of packages from Tampa home, deputies say

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The holiday shopping season is officially here which, unfortunately, means the threat of porch pirates is back in full force with a search already underway for one in Hillsborough County.

Deputies say an unknown man took about $500 worth of delivered packages from the front porch of a home on Stockbridge Drive in Tampa on Monday afternoon.

According to a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, he arrived at the home around 1:30 p.m. in the front passenger seat of a red Chevrolet Cruz. Deputies say the driver of the car is also unknown.

The incident was caught on a surveillance camera. The car seen in the video has a bumper sticker on the lower rear driver’s side.

Deputies say the suspect who took the packages is a black man who was wearing a hoodie with the word “TRAPWOODZ” on the front over a green Charlotte Hornets jersey. He also had on a black COVID-19 mask and blue Jordan Retro 5 shoes.

“Unfortunately, this is the nature of the holiday season, but this type of criminal behavior will not be tolerated year-round,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office is aiming to protect Hillsborough County residents this holiday season with a program called “Operation Pinch-A-Grinch.” The program allows people to have their online orders shipped to one of two district offices, where deputies will accept the packages and secure them until they can be picked up.

“Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are making their holiday purchases online,” Sheriff Chronister said. “I want to take this time to encourage residents to take advantage of our Operation Pinch-A-Grinch program. It’s a simple and free way they can safeguard their holiday packages at one of two of our district offices.”

Orders must include your name, C/O Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and one of the following addresses:

District III
c/o Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
7202 Gunn Highway
Tampa, FL 33625

District V
c/o Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
10128 Windhorst Road
Tampa, FL 33619

When you’re ready to pick up your package, you’ll need to bring your ID and tracking number.

The program is available now through Dec. 21.

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