Local Police Offer Shipping Alternative Amid Porch Piracy

Packages on porch
Packages on porch | Image by George Sheldon/Shutterstock

One local police department has decided to curb package thefts this holiday season by allowing residents to have their orders shipped to its headquarters.

Anyone living or working in Keller can have their special orders shipped to Keller police headquarters at 330 Rufe Snow Dr. from now until December 22. The packages, which must weigh less than 50 pounds, will be received by volunteers and kept safe until the recipient comes to collect them. A photo ID will be required, with collection available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

In a social media post, Keller police explained that the test program, “Operation Gift Guardians,” aims to keep residents’ treasured holiday presents from being snatched by would-be thieves.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, porch piracy is on the rise nationwide, as online shoppers are frequently not home to receive their orders due to their busy schedules.

While Texas prosecutes package theft as a felony offense — punishable by up to 10 years in prison — it is an easy crime to commit, requiring little skill and planning, as security expert SafeWise explained in a recent report. The Austin metro area was ranked seventh among all U.S. metros with residents concerned about package theft this year.

Moreover, as Keller police suggested, any gift purchases made at shops should be brought inside rather than left inside vehicles.

In Dallas, 26,085 theft offenses have been logged as of December 4, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard. Of these, the vast majority have been from vehicles, soaring from 11,960 this time last year to 12,417 in 2023.

The Dallas Police Department is trying to manage crime amid a longstanding officer shortage. It currently fields only around 3,000 officers despite a City analysis advising that at least 4,000 officers would be necessary to maintain public safety. This is most apparent in Downtown Dallas, where significantly higher rates of crime — including motor vehicle theft — have been reported compared to the city center of Fort Worth, which is patrolled by a special police unit and private security guards.

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