Porch pirate combing Westside neighborhood for packages after Black Friday, residents say
Despite having video, one man says he encountered a problem while trying to report his stolen packages to police
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A real-life Grinch was caught on camera, combing a Westside neighborhood and swiping packages that contained Black Friday purchases, according to residents.
Several people told News4Jax that their deliveries were taken from their doorsteps this week, shortly after they were dropped off. Police say it happens every year, especially around the holidays.
A man named Connor said his Ring doorbell camera captured a crook walking up and taking packages meant for him and his wife -- not once, but twice -- while they were at work Tuesday.
“Two trips to the door. He knew what he was doing for sure,” Connor said. “You think you’re safe. You think the cameras are there. At least the neighborhood is safe -- but someone with the gall to go up to multiple houses in one neighborhood.”
Connor said the man made off with around $1,000 worth of electronics and gifts for his daughter, which he ordered on Black Friday from Amazon.
A woman who lives just around the corner said the same man hit her home. She sent News4Jax a video showing him carrying off a large box, loading it in his white SUV and driving off. That resident said other neighbors near Jammes and Timuquana roads also lost their deliveries.
The Hannah Stables subdivision also has a lot of cameras. News4Jax counted at least five at the entrance and exit to the neighborhood. Residents said they hope that they caught a license plate.
But Connor said there’s a problem. Since he said he reported the theft to Amazon and the company agreed to send him replacements, he can’t file a police report. That’s because Amazon is now the victim, an responding officer can be heard explaining in a video recorded by Connor’s Ring camera.
“If you didn’t call and report it, you’re the victim. But it’s better to report it because you want to get your packages eventually,” the officer says.
A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokesman confirms that’s true, saying the company will have to make the complaint.
“If Amazon does not file the police report, there’s nothing the police can do because there’s no one claiming to be a victim,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson.
That’s frustrating for Connor.
“So if anyone else hasn’t contacted Amazon yet, maybe they can open the case and get that license plate and figure out who he is,” he said.
The footage shared with News4Jax shows a man wearing a Costa shirt and a Hurley hat, driving an older model Chevrolet or GMC SUV with a roof rack and a sticker in the back window.
The manager of the homeowners association said the monitoring company that stores the video from the entrance has turned it over to Jacksonville police.
Jefferson offered steps that people can take to protect their packages.
“Connect with a neighbor, or connect with the company that’s making the delivery about when you’re going to be home,” he said.
In Neptune Beach, police even started a Holiday Package Receiving Program, which will run through Dec. 23. In order to take part, you have to live in Neptune Beach. Here’s how it works:
- Have your package sent to Neptune Beach Police Department headquarters at 200 Lemon St. Neptune Beach, FL 32266.
- Bring a valid Florida driver’s license or ID to pick up your package between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
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