SF crime epidemic: ‘Porch pirates’ swiping packages from doorsteps

SFChronicle.com | 12/6/2018 | Heather Knight
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Everybody knows San Francisco is the city with glittering streets — well, glittering because of all the puddles of shattered glass from car break-ins.

But there’s another pervasive property crime here that doesn’t get as much attention because there’s no evidence left behind. It’s called “porch piracy,” and it’s the swiping of packages off people’s front steps. All that’s left is an empty doorstep and the resident’s frustration.

San - Franciscans - Shopping - Online - Packages

Now that many San Franciscans do nearly all their shopping online, packages from Amazon and other internet retailers pile up outside front doors like giant building blocks, especially during the holidays.

The packages are easy pickings. Residents have even reported seeing thieves following delivery trucks, stealing each package within minutes after it’s dropped off. Nextdoor and other neighborhood online groups are filled with gripes about packages gone missing and photos taken from security camera footage of the culprits.

Problem - Phrase - Amazon - Package - City

The problem has gotten so bad, the phrase “Amazon package stolen” is Googled more often here than in any other city in the country, according to the packaging company Shorr.

We’re No. 1! Sigh.

Miriam - Karpilow - Husband - Order - Anything

Miriam Karpilow said she and her husband no longer order anything that will be delivered to their condo in the Lower Haight. It’s guaranteed to be snatched.

“Anything that doesn’t fit in the mail slot, we’ve had it stolen,” she said. “We’ve had toilet paper stolen. ... We lost Sonos speakers. I lost a big box of maternity clothes, which I hope somebody found useful. ... I lost cat medication once. Enjoy that. Enjoy your Gabapentin!”

Cats - Medication - Pain - Anxiety - Felines

For those who don’t have cats, that’s a medication used to reduce pain and anxiety in felines. Poor kitty.

Karpilow, director of employer relations for the University of San Francisco, tried posting notes telling delivery people not to leave packages, but she said they’d leave them anyway or try to hide them under...
(Excerpt) Read more at: SFChronicle.com
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