Plainfield Police increases patrols for porch pirates

Plainfield Police are keeping their eyes on porch packages and making sure they don't get stolen. (WTHR Photo: Rich Van Wyk)

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WTHR) – Porch pirates are the modern-day Grinches of the holiday season. They are hitting neighborhoods across in central Indiana.

One Hendricks County town says it has had enough. The Plainfield Police Department is making these "grab and go" thieves a top priority.

Eyewitness News walked in on the prime time for porch pirates. A delivery driver worked a middle class neighborhood, dropping off three packages at three homes in five minutes.

They were at front doors for anyone to take. So reporter Rich Van Wyk took a couple of them and rang the door bell.

"Give me a few seconds to come to the door," replied the owner through one of those new wireless, video intercom door bell buttons.

"Merry Christmas," Rich said to Prav Nattam as he handed over the packages. Nattam said he gets a lot of packages and although he worries about porch pirates.

"Your packages are on the front porch," Rich pointed out. "I could have taken them."

In this season of giving, we found Plainfield Police Sergeant Chad Parks looking for those who are taking packages.

"Getting package thefts are kind of the norm now," said Parks as he patrolled the neighborhood.

Last Christmas season, porch pirates hit several Plainfield neighborhoods several times. This year more police are spending more time patrolling neighborhoods.

"We get residents that call in suspicious vehicles all the time." Parks said. "It's very helpful."

Patrol officers are getting help from headquarters. Officers who typically work desks are now working the streets.

We went along as Deputy Chief Lees patrolled a neighborhood in her unmarked car. She spotted an open garage and package and notified the owner.

"She really appreciated that we knocked on the door," said Lees.

Nattam said he appreciates police targeting pirates. "I think it is great," he explained. "I have a door bell I and talk to you through and got a security camera for the same reason because I kinda worry about it."

Police were eager to publicize the priority they are putting on porch pirates.

"We are doing everything we can and using our resources to deter you from stealing," Lees explained. "But if you decide to do to that. We are going to catch you."

The additional patrols began a couple of weeks ago. Police haven't caught a single porch pirate so far this year but there hasn't been a single package stolen either.