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Burnaby man foils Amazon ‘porch pirate’ with poop-filled bait box

Revenge never smelled so stinky
Porch pirate thief packages delivery home - Getty Images
Shipping boxes left on the front doorstep of a home, a perfect set up for 'porch pirates.'

A Burnaby man has come up with an interesting way to stick it to so-called “porch pirates” who steal Amazon packages from their doorsteps.

Terry told the NOW about how he had invented a bait box for them to steal.

Inside the box is dog poop that he had gathered during the previous few weeks as he scooped up after his pet pooch on their daily walks. Once he had gathered up enough, he put it into a sealed plastic bag so the smell wouldn’t get out. Then he added a few pieces of wood to weigh down the box so it would feel like there was something in it.

With the box sealed up, Terry left the box out on his front porch and waited.

“It took about a week, but the box disappeared,” he said. “I hope they enjoyed my little present.”

Terry has been a victim of a porch pirate once before and it really stung him. He has read about the proliferation of thieves stealing packages and decided enough was enough.

"We are seeing an increase in mail and package thefts earlier than expected this year," said Const. Kelly McIntyre, spokeswoman for the North Vancouver RCMP, in a recent news story.
McIntyre said in some cases thieves will case a neighbourhood, checking to see if there appear to be any packages left at front doors. At other times, suspects will follow people into the lobby of an apartment building, and head to the area where packages are usually dropped off in order to pilfer them, said McIntyre. “They’ll slip in when people aren’t paying attention.”

"Do not run the risk of leaving your packages unattended, even if it's just for a short period of time," urged Karla Laird of the BBB. "Porch pirates target affluent and/or suburban neighbourhoods as well as apartment buildings where they notice large volumes of packages being delivered on a daily basis. They oftentimes drive behind branded delivery vehicles and try to capitalize on opportunities where packages are left on doorsteps. Pretending to be delivery drivers, sometimes wearing caps and vests, they easily walk up to people's front doors and move packages within minutes of them being dropped off."

With package theft being at an all-time high, BBB is sharing the following tips to help you fight back and prevent porch pirates from stealing Christmas:

  • Take advantage of online tracking services offered by retailers. Some retailers have updated their tracking information to let recipients know the time window in which their packages may be delivered. If so, make sure someone is around to collect the delivery. If the company says the package was delivered but it is nowhere to be found, report it.
  • Monitor the front door. If you have a home security camera system, make sure it captures activity at your front door and mailbox. If you catch any mail thieves in the act, save the video and alert law enforcement. The thieves may be targeting your neighbourhood and video surveillance can be very helpful in preventing these crimes.
  • Customize the delivery. If you know the package is going to be larger than the mailbox, authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified out-of-sight location. A safer solution is to request pick-up at their facility.
  • Secure the shipment. Signature confirmations ensure that the package ends up in the right hands. Register your most valuable packages so special care and documentation is used every step of the way. Ship your packages to where you are, not where you aren’t.
  • Talk to your employer. If you are working in the office and will not be home to collect your packages, ask if they can allow you to have them delivered there instead.

Watch for suspicious activity. If you notice something out of place in your neighbourhood, provide a detailed report to law enforcement.

  • With reporting by Jane Seyd, North Shore News