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NOLA: Officers expands program to combat porch pirates

These types of crimes happen all year round but police say it picks up around the holidays.

NEW ORLEANS — It is an all too common problem, porch pirates snagging packages.

As seen in the Garden District recently, a stranger walks up, casually picks up the package and takes off.

"That's unfortunate. People don't need to be stolen from," said Cindy Van Dam from New Orleans

These types of crimes happen all year round but police say it picks up around the holidays.

"There's desperation..there's a lack of opportunity for a lot of people, poverty sets in and when people don't have. They have this instinct in their mind that they feel like they are allowed to take from others. It's not necessarily fair but it happens.." said Reaux Fareal, New Orleans.

The NOPD is working to prevent these crimes by expanding a program that started a couple of years back in the Second District. Commander Jeffrey Walls talked about it last year.

"Lieutenant Jenkins actually came up with the idea regarding our thefts with our porch pirates that what if/when we see a package we knock on the door, ring the doorbell and get the owner's attention to it or move the package," said Commander Jeffrey Walls, NOPD.

On Tuesday, the NOPD announced on Twitter that the program has become a city-wide initiative. Saying it will reduce package theft but many pushed back.

One user said "I thought our resources are already strained?" another person said "aren't y'all pushed to the limit? How do y'all find time for this?" and yet another calling it an intrusion into private citizens' lives.

Others feel different.

"Anytime you get police who are willing to step in to combat crime well it actually helps everybody," said Reaux Fareal.

"I think it's a good thing. After the storm, we had a lot of policemen coming around. I liked that. I felt safe.." said Brianne Cannatella from New Orleans.  

There are ways you can protect your property without the police getting involved including having your package delivered to your work, making sure you or someone you know will be home when the package is delivered, or asking the carrier to deliver the package somewhere out of view.

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