It is the most wonderful time of the year for porch pirates, the holiday season. But this year in Oklahoma, thieves may have finally met their match even in a pandemic.
Local law enforcement agencies across the metro are stepping up patrols and this holiday season in Oklahoma, getting caught could put you behind bars.
Time after time we’ve witnessed people ruthlessly steal packages. In some incidents, you can’t help but laugh.
It was no laughing matter Sunday when Candice Jackson had candlewax and oils stolen from her front porch in southeast Oklahoma City.
A man is believed to have rifled through one package. Jackson said he left it at the neighbors while taking the other package.
“I was just shocked. Like of course, he’s definitely not going to take these packages because he’s looking at my camera, so it just makes me know that he is probably not thinking clearly,” said Jackson.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office has had enough, stepping up patrols once again this year as another holiday approaches.
“Periodically we’ll follow trucks and then when they deliver a package we’ll sit up on the house or the package and try to keep an eye on it for a while and see if anyone else is following the truck as well,” said Sgt. Paul Harmon, Criminal Investigator at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Oklahoma Porch Piracy Act, individuals who commit porch piracy three times in a 60-day period can face a felony charge which is punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
Individuals convicted under the Porch Piracy Act will also have to pay restitution to the victims.
Local law enforcement means business. On Friday, Briannah Bennett was charged with one count of porch piracy in Pottawatomie County.
To prevent becoming a victim of porch piracy, Sgt. Harmon suggests having a neighbor, close friend or family member pick up your package and place it inside.
“If they could just ask their drivers to do that extra step of ringing the doorbell because my son was home at the time and if they would have rang the doorbell, he could have gotten the packages,” said Jackson.
The Porch Piracy Act of 2020 was signed by Governor Kevin Stitt in May 2020 and took effect on November 1.