Porch pirate swipes 3 packages from Fort Lauderdale doorstep amid growing trend

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Fort Lauderdale homeowner is fed up and speaking out after surveillance video captured a man walking up to his front door and stealing three packages.

Jeremy Martens is the latest in a common and troubling trend that goes on the rise during the holiday season, which brings presents to shoppers’ doors and porch pirates keen on taking them.

Martens said the crook struck Wednesday afternoon after his Amazon order was dropped off at his home near Northwest 16th Street and Fifth Avenue.

“Well, my girlfriend texts me one day this week and tells me that the packages arrived at our door, right over here, and I come to find that there’s nothing there when I get home,” he said.

The surveillance footage shows the subject walking up to the porch with a shirt covering his face. He is then seen grabbing the three boxes and taking off.

Martens believes that Amazon should make some changes on how they deliver their mail at this time of the year.

“You know what I’m upset about is, Amazon should have some type of corporate responsibility with its delivery drivers,” he said, “’cause as they drive the street with their Amazon trucks, kids or thieves could just be following them and snagging packages behind them.”

This isn’t an uncommon practice for porch pirates. Earlier this month, an Amazon driver called police after noticing she was being tailed by a duo in Boynton Beach.

In Coral Gables, the police department is bringing on a neighborhood team policing unit to counter the crooks’ attempts to swipe presents from porches. Officers help out by moving the precious cargo out of sight from the greedy Grinches.

“They are the extra set of eyes and ears for the City of Coral Gables Police Department,” said Coral Gables Police Officer Kelly Denham.

Martens said he’s thankful for Amazon’s cooperation in this holiday hurdle, but he still questions the practices of these drivers and the company’s way of handling these packages.

“You just think it would be common sense that drivers delivering packages and valuables this time of year would try to leave it in a safe spot that’s a little more, you know, conspicuous,” he said.

To help protect your packages police suggest that shoppers have items delivered to their community’s management office or their place of work. They can also require a signature for delivery and invest in a video surveillance system.

If you have any information on the theft of Martens’ packages, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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