Denver tops 1,000 reported package thefts as holiday shopping season intensifies

DENVER — Americans spent $11.3 billion this Cyber Monday, according to Adobe. That’s a lot of online shopping, a lot of packages headed to porches, and a lot of opportunities for porch pirates to swipe your stuff.

We recently reported that the Denver metro was ranked number one in the nation for porch pirate thefts last year by SafeWise. While package thefts are slightly down compared to this point last year, the Denver metro is seeing an 11% increase compared to the previous three year average; meanwhile, related arrests have fallen each year since 2017.

We spoke to Ty, a recent porch pirate victim in Denver, who asked that we only used his first name for this story. Ty had approximately $600 worth of deliveries stolen from his front porch just before Thanksgiving, and provided Denver7 doorbell camera footage that shows the apparent thieves walking up to take his packages in broad daylight.

Porch pirates target Denver resident

Denver7

Ring Doorbell footage provided to Denver7 of apparent porch pirates

“You see them walk up here, no attempts to hide their faces whatsoever,” Ty said, walking our team through the video. “I mean, this level of boldness in committing crime certainly suggests these people were not that concerned about getting caught. They were not that fearful about the consequences… the police are doing what they can and trying, but they’re understaffed and with, you know, fewer police and more crimes—[it] doesn’t really bode well for this type of stuff ceasing.”

So far this year, 1,073 packages have been reported stolen to the Denver Police Department. As the numbers below from DPD show, that is slightly below this same point last year, but slightly above this point in 2020, and well above the three years prior.

11/28/22 Package theft stats from DPD

Denver7

Reported year-to-date package thefts to Denver Police as of 11/28/22

Meanwhile, the percentage of incidents reported that have resulted in a related arrest have consistently fallen, according to numbers from DPD.

11/28/22 DPD package theft arrest stats

Denver7

Percentage of reported package thefts that resulted in an arrest, according to Denver Police

The Denver Police Department said increased workload on its officers has hindered its ability to respond proactively to these crimes, and that it is now focusing on education of preventative measures.

“While arrests and additional presence in locations identified through data are elements of our overall strategy, we believe prevention through education is the most effective tool in combating package thefts,” a Denver PD spokesperson said in a statement. “Post-COVID workload increases have impacted response times and opportunities for proactive work, however we will continue to use data to determine how to deploy our available resources.”

Denver police recommend the following strategies to protect your packages:

  • Have your package delivered to your workplace or to a trusted neighbor who is more likely to be home at the time of delivery
  • Require a signature upon delivery, or track your delivery status online to be sure you’re home when it arrives
  • Ask the shipping company to hold your package at their facility, and pick it up there

If you fall victim to a porch pirate, and happen to catch the thief on camera, send it to our “Porch Pirates Hall of Shame” by emailing the video along with what happened and the related police report to [email protected] Please include the area where it happens, along with permission to use your video in perpetuity.

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