LAPD warns of 'porch pirates' as holiday season nears

TARZANA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department is warning residents to be on the alert for "porch pirates" who are stealing delivered packages from their front doors.

Surveillance video from earlier this month shows a man walking up to Rick Deckman's Tarzana home and walking off with his packages.

"I said, 'What happened to the package?' So then I start looking at the rest of my cameras," said Deckman.

Deckman has 20 cameras on his property, several of which caught Ramon Horton, 32, pulling up in a stolen U-Haul truck and leaving with two boxes.

Officers were able to trace the truck to an address and arrested Horton and a female accomplice. Inside their apartment they found a lot more than just the Deckmans' two boxes.

"There was just piles and piles of just stuff and boxes and mail," said LAPD Officer Daryl Scoggins.

Officers say this kind of crime is happening a lot more often lately, and with the holidays approaching, residents need to be on the lookout.

"A lot of stuff comes in the mail. This is where you really want to pay attention to when you're receiving any items," said Scoggins.

Some steps you can take to avoid being the victim of "porch pirates" are to schedule deliveries for when you're home and send items to your work rather than your house.

You can also set up a text alert, which is how Deckman knew his packages were gone. And of course, cameras can help.

"I was mad, but I knew I had him," said Deckman. "I said this has to be one of the stupidest criminals there are. I have signs posted around my house. I have one in my driveway, 'smile, you're being videotaped."

"If they were smart, I wouldn't have a job," said Scoggins.
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