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'Porch pirate' who scooped Amazon packages from apartments gets 60 days jail

The thief waited for residents to leave to gain access to buildings.
A porch pirate who stole Amazon packages from North Vancouver apartment buildings has been sentenced to 60 days in jail. | North Shore News

A ‘porch pirate’ who stole Amazon packages from the mail areas of two central Lonsdale apartment buildings and helped himself to two mountain bikes from the back of a truck in an underground parkade will serve 60 days in jail.

Curtis David Smith, 43, was handed the sentence Nov. 7 after pleading guilty to four charges of theft in North Vancouver provincial court.

The reverse delivery spree happened between Aug. 27 and Sept. 7, 2022, at three different apartment buildings, all in the neighbourhood of North Vancouver’s Victoria Park.

In one case, Smith hit the same apartment building twice. All of the thefts involved Smith walking into the buildings through parkade or lobby doors that had been left open or hadn’t been securely shut.

In the first theft, on Aug. 27, 2022, Smith and another man walked through an open door to an underground parkade of a building at 160 East 6th St. Inside the parkade, they spotted two mountain bikes in the back of a pick-up truck and wheeled them out of the building. The value of the bikes was about $7,000 total, said Crown counsel Kenny Wu.

Three days later, on Aug. 30, Smith was observed on CCTV surveillance entering the lobby of another apartment building at 108 East 8th St. Wu said Smith appeared to have entered the building through a back door, then went to the mailbox area at the front of the building where he was seen looking at Amazon packages. About 10 minutes later, Smith was seen opening the front door of the building to another man and the pair were observed collecting the Amazon packages in a shopping bag and leaving the building.

Later that day, Smith and another man were seen outside an apartment building at 151 East Keith Road waiting for a resident to leave the building. When someone did, neglecting to shut the door securely behind them, Smith went inside, where CCTV cameras captured him roaming around the storage locker area as well as the gym. Just after midnight, Smith was seen loading a dumbbell set into a suitcase and wheeling them away from the building.

A week later, on Sept. 7, Smith was back at the apartment at 108 East 8th St., where he again waited for someone to leave the building to gain access and scoop up six Amazon packages from the mail area before leaving.

Wu said Smith has an extensive criminal record, mostly involving similar property offences in the Kelowna area. He is currently still serving a jail sentence for similar convictions of stealing packages from apartment buildings in Kelowna between Jan. 21 and Feb. 8 of 2023.

Smith’s defence lawyer told the judge his client had an abusive upbringing, was in and out of ministry care since he was three years old and started taking drugs in his early 20s. Both of his parents have since died, but Smith told the judge he is hoping to move to Ontario following his sentence to be reunited with his father’s family. His lawyer said he is also hoping to get into a rehabilitation program.

In addition to the jail term, Judge Joanne Challenger sentenced Smith to one year probation.

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