Porch Pirate Protection: Grinch hits Sierra Vista home

Preventing package thefts

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - ’Tis the season for porch pirates. Do you put a priority on protecting your home from potential Grinches?

One Sierra Vista family is thinking about other ways to protect their packages after a criminal pulled up to the curb Monday afternoon.

“You feel very vulnerable that that could happen, and it happened to you," said Ashley Ricks.

I’m breaking my hiatus from FB to share this video. PLEASE SHARE!! This is unedited video taken today of a thief...

Posted by Ashley Ricks on Monday, December 3, 2018

In the video Ricks shared on social media, you can see a man pull up across the street from the home and wait a few seconds. He then runs up the driveway and takes two small boxes from the porch. Ricks said more video showed the car drive past the home and return just minutes later before the thief took action.

“So they were out hunting, for something," said Ricks.

Inside the two boxes were a small toy and some medical supplements. Ricks said it’s not a big prize for the pirate, and agrees it could have been a lot worse, but it doesn’t give her or her family a peace of mind.

“You think of things that you wouldn’t normally with the mail," said Ricks. "Oh, there’s a packing slip in there, does it have any personally identifiable information? Do we need to monitor our credit, do we need to monitor bank accounts?”

Luckily, the Ricks had a home surveillance system and have shared the clear video on Facebook with the community, which has been shared more than 200 times. The Ricks also reported it to Sierra Vista Police, who told them to continue to share photos of the suspect.

“We know that somebody was here, that we did not authorize to be here that we don’t know, and they did this deliberately and here’s the evidence," said Ricks.

Edmund Gay, Specialty Connections Manager at Best Buy, said home cameras are a popular product around the holidays, with doorbell cameras, like Ring or Nest, a hot ticket item.

“A lot of the concern is around ease of use," said Gay. “There’s a lot of people that are concerned about losing items if they aren’t home to accept a delivery.”

We did some shopping around to compare prices:

- Ring doorbell cameras start at $99. Upgrading your system, or adding more security cameras around your home, will cost about $200-$500, depending on options.

- Nest cameras, with indoor and outdoor options, range from $199- $349.

- Greet Smart Doorbell at Amazon starts at $69.94, existing wiring is required.

- BoxLock is a scanning lock that will only open for packages to your home, for a storage unit. The lock starts around $120, with the storage unit costs about $100 more.

Amazon also has several services, including:

- Amazon Key: Users can purchase a home kit that services as a lock and camera on the door. A delivery person would be able to enter a code and leave your packages inside your home.

- Amazon KeyInCar: Users can have delivery personnel put packages in his or her trunk.

- Amazon Locker: Users can choose to have packages delivered to a locker, usually at a gas station or store in the area. They can open their locker with a special code once the item is delivered. To see if you have an Amazon locker near you, click here.

“It makes you wonder how much access you give to people, to your home and to your property," said Ricks. "So, some of those things sound like really awesome services, but then what risk are you taking by opening up your home?”

If you recognize the person in the surveillance video, or have any information about other thefts in the area, please call Sierra Vista Police.

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