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SAN DIEGO — Online shopping during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic is shattering records, and with more home deliveries come more opportunities for opportunistic porch pirates.
Carlsbad Police are investigating a recent incident in the Montecito Luxury Apartment complex after a man wearing a Unite Parcel Service vest was caught rummaging through packages and opening one.
“The theft was reported to us and we are investigating the theft, which includes the man who appears to be stealing a package in the video,” said Carlsbad Police Community Relations Manager Jodee Reyes. “We would encourage community members to check out the shipping tips included on our news page.”
Jonathan Hong reported the theft after watching his home security camera.
“I saw this guy keep coming by rummaging through my packages and I got more and more suspicious, and finally I saw the one where he opened one,” Hong said.
The contents inside were missing when he returned to his home, so he posted the video on the Neighbors app, and area residents quickly began commenting and taking extra precautions.
Neighbor Justine Hose recently installed a Ring doorbell camera to prepare for the holiday season and protect herself from porch pirates.
“We’ve been seeing them a lot in this neighborhood,” she said.
Another area resident, Paul Christoforo, said he is also installing more cameras. His extra safety precautions are timely, as December 2 is National Package Protection Day.
A UPS media representative confirmed that the company is reviewing the video and trying to reach the driver seen on camera. The same representative said UPS does not tolerate dishonesty and confirmed that UPS hires seasonal drivers during the holidas who will be seen wearing only a UPS vest rathenr than the entire traditional UPS uniform. Deliveries have increased significantly as online shopping continues to rise, the spokesperson added.
“All of our shopping (is online) actually except for groceries,” Hong said.
“Everyone’s ordering online now because it’s Christmas,” Christoforo said. “My neighbors make fun of me because the UPS driver is here like seven times a day.”
Carlsbad Police have posted their advice for protecting yourself and your packages during the holiday season online.