Residents reconsider online holiday shopping due to thefts - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Residents reconsider online holiday shopping due to thefts

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Residents are taking precautions when it comes to deliveries now (WFSB) Residents are taking precautions when it comes to deliveries now (WFSB)

A disturbing trend that could ruin the holidays is sweeping the state and the country.

‘Porch pirates’ are picking presents right off the doorsteps of homes.

It was happening in East Lyme on Tuesday, and on Wednesday Hamden police said residents are now being hit.

During the day, Susan Nugent is at work and Aidan is at school. Their home on Ranch Road is unoccupied.

Because of that, they've fallen victim to porch pirates, who are thieves stealing packages from doorsteps even though they have no idea what's inside.

“I have a meal delivery plan that gets delivered on Fridays and it's a box on the porch, and it's pretty obvious that it's food and I did have a box taken,” Susan Nugent said.

She didn't report it then because she felt the suspects may have needed a meal, but on Wednesday, neighbors on Ranch and Woodstock roads reported seeing suspicious people prowling around porches.

“What's been going on lately is clearly the holiday season. Packages coming and people just taking them,” Nugent said.

Now that it's happening in in their neighborhood, homeowners are re-thinking shopping online.

“I'm having everything delivered to my office,” she said.

Police say that's one option, and another is delivering packages to neighbors who will be home.

“We are kind of looking out for each other. If we see packages and see people being suspicious we will call the police or maybe take a package for a neighbor,” said Kathy Solomon, of Hamden.

Police have also suggested getting a surveillance camera.

A suspect in East Lyme was caught within hours after police posted a clear video of him grabbing boxes at a home on Chesterfield Road.

Then there are parcel drop boxes that can be installed and bolted to the ground.

“I'm not going to have packages delivered. This is really unfortunate,” Nugent said.

The neighborhood may be forced to approach the holidays differently, and kids say that can ruin the spirit of the season.

“It does make me have a little less trust in the people in my neighborhood,” said Aidan Armstrong.

Police are worried there are multiple suspects who seem to be working in pairs.

On Ranch, police say it was two white men in a black SUV. On Woodstock, it was a man and woman in a white Honda.

Anyone with information should contact Hamden police.

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