U City police work to solve porch package thefts; school supplies & $500 Christmas gift stolen

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 10:13 PM CST
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UNIVERSITY CITY (KMOV) -- Porch pirates are stealing packages across neighborhoods in the Metro. Local police tell News 4 they are surprised by how nonchalant and bold the thieves have gotten.

“It’s not in one particular area. It’s all over the place,” says University City Police Lt. Brian Isenberg.

The University City Police Department is stepping up to solve package theft cases inside and outside of its jurisdiction. One officer connected a University City porch pirate case to a suspect responsible for stealing packages nearby in St. Louis City on Kingsbury Boulevard.

News 4 obtained the exclusive video showing a man in orange swiping deliveries in broad daylight.

“How long it takes for somebody to get from their car, to the porch and back is less than 10 seconds or 15 seconds and then they’re gone,” says Lt. Isenberg.

The homeowner tells News 4 the thief stole her husband’s $500 Christmas gift.

Nina Ramis lives in Midtown and was the victim of a different porch pirate two times this year.

“Once in August and once a couple weeks ago,” she says. “You’re paying for a convenience to not have to go in a store. Something that’s delivered to your door and then you wake up in the morning and it’s not there.”

The same suspect stole hundreds of dollars of school supplies from Ramis’ porch before the start of school. A doorbell video camera shows the suspect walking up the steps and grabbing all the packages before he calmly leaves.

“He stole my backpack,” her younger daughter said.

“He just comes up, he sees the packages and he looks straight at the camera,” says Ramis. “He’s like, ‘I know what I’m doing,’ and he walks away. Which is bold.”

“They want quick easy access without any hassle whatsoever,” says Lt. Isenberg.

As a result, University City is only offering free security inspections for local businesses and residents to deter thieves from their property. Police are also giving away free Ring doorbell cameras to victims in need.

“Other things you can do is have delivery instructions to leave it on the back door, out of sight, or under this mat. A lot of people now are getting tubs and putting it on their front porch with a lock. Amazon or whoever will put it in there. Lock the lock when they’re done,” says Lt. Isenberg.

To set up a security appointment with University Police contact Lt. Isenberg at 314-505-8660 or email bisenberg@ucitymo.org

“If we can make it less attractive for our citizens to be victimized and the bad guy or girl goes somewhere else, then that’s half our problem solved right there.”