LOS ANGELES -- A warning from police: the coronavirus emergency may be making it easier for porch pirates to strike.
The Los Angeles Police Department says that during the pandemic, many delivery drivers have been told not to touch door knobs, gate latches or other surfaces frequently touched by other people.
As a result, many drivers are leaving packages on the ground closer to the sidewalk, rather than walking them past gated fences to leave on a porch.
As a result, thieves have easier access and a quicker getaway.
That's apparently what happened during one recent incident in LA's Melrose district.
Police say on Saturday, April 11 a man apparently followed a delivery driver and stole packages along the route.
Doorbell video captured at least one of the thefts, showing the suspect drive up by slowly in a late 1990s Mercury Mountaineer to a home where a package had recently been delivered.
The suspect parks the vehicle, gets out and casually walks up to the home and takes the package. The box had been left just a short distance inside the gate.
Police are urging delivery drivers to be alert for someone possibly following them and notify the police. They also recommend that people who order packages have them delivered to a safe location, such as a post office or a workplace.
Porch pirates taking advantage of new coronavirus delivery rules, LAPD says
Porch pirates are getting easier access to packages because fewer drivers are touching gates and doorknobs to make deliveries, LAPD says.