Richmond ‘porch pirate’ dressed as Amazon employee

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RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Package thieves, recently dubbed ‘porch pirates,’ target unattended delivery items outside homes. One theft was caught on camera this week in Richmond. The perpetrator? Someone dressed as an Amazon delivery driver.

Stolen from the front stoop, three packages were nabbed Tuesday morning outside a home on the 4500 block of Cary Street Road. Police say they are investigating.

Not long before 11 a.m., according to a time stamp on the surveillance video shared with 8News, a person casually walked up a stone foot path, then proceeds to drop-off a package before taking three unattended boxes. Then, they slowly walked away to an awaiting blue four-door sedan.

The person with the packages appears to place the boxes on a back seat before sitting in the front passenger seat.

But when the apparent thief turned away from the house with their cargo, a recognizable arrow can be seen on the shoulder area of the person walking away, similar to those seen on Amazon delivery vans and driver uniforms.

However, there was no van in sight. Just an apparent getaway car.

Leah Seay a communications representative for Amazon tells 8News that the thief is not a driver or associate for Amazon. Seay confirmed that there were no Amazon drivers in the area during the time of the theft.

Amazon is working with RPD to investigate the incident further.

“Obviously it’s a shame. I’m sure it’s happened more and more often,” said Andrew Breton who lives nearby.

“I’m sorry to hear that it’s happened to other people. I also can imagine there’s a lot of people in more desperate straits than usual, just given the state of the economy these days. So I’m also not surprised that people might be resorting to stealing packages,” he said.

Flashback to Monday night, hours before the original incident—the initial drop-off from Amazon happened shortly after 6:00, according to Ring video.

The Amazon delivery driver took a photo, which the company says drivers may do when packages are left unattended for proof items arrived. Then, the delivery driver walks back to the Amazon van across the street.

The home owner, who did not wish to be identified, told us the package dropped-off at his house by the porch pirate was addressed to another Richmond home, and someone who ended up with one of his packages returned it. 

Based on these events, he believes whoever did this, may be discarding packages they don’t want after stealing them, at homes where they’re looking for more.

Richmond police ask people to consider picking up packages at work, a family member’s house, a distribution center or to request a signature upon delivery.

8News reached out to Amazon Thursday fore more information. However, recognizing some communications staff may not be working on a holiday, the newsroom awaits to receive a response.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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