'Package Thieves' still on the run in Amarillo neighborhoods


    Package thieves are still on the run in Amarillo neighborhoods.(ABC 7 Amarillo Darra Cunningham file photo)

    Barely a day goes by that we do not hear a story about thieves taking packages from porches. It is something that is happening all across the country and thieves are only getting bolder, in spite of increased efforts by homeowners to stop them.

    Installing a camera on your porch is something you would think could deter the thieves but Amarillo Police Department (APD) Corporal Jeb Hilton says it is not enough.

    “Even people that are at home have had packages stolen and have seen the packages being taken off their porch,” said Corporal Hilton.

    A woman sent ABC 7 News video of a crime that happened recently. She was at home and a thief stole her packages off her porch, so she then ran after him. The lady yelled out telling the thief there were only cleaning supplies in the box but he did not stop.

    Cpl. Hilton said the law does allow you to detain someone who is stealing from your property.

    "It’s not always the safest thing to do because we don't know what kind of weapons that person has on them and we don't know what their willing to do to get away from you,” said Cpl. Hilton.

    Paul McInally with Allstate Security Industries, Inc. told ABC 7 News most of the thieves live only one or two miles away.

    "People rarely go from neighborhood to neighborhood, some will, but a lot of the time it’s an opportunity,” said McInally. "They happen to be driving down the road and see a selection of boxes on a porch that can be seen from the road and that's an opportunity to take it.”

    And Cpl. Hilton said every little bit of a description you can get will help your case.

    "If it’s just a partial description of a license plate or if it’s a description of the vehicle or even the person, we want as much as you can get,” said Cpl. Hilton.

    Allstate Security Industries and the Amarillo Police Department both agree that you can not stop a thief from taking packages but you can reduce the amount stolen.

    “Reducing it is using some common sense level of helping hide those packages from plain site and from the road," said McInally. "If you can hide them behind plant pots or maybe a seat bench that opens up, the delivery services will often use those services and you can leave them a note to put packages in a particular location."

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