The setting is an elegant urban neighborhood with houses displaying the iconic Art Deco architecture, including clean lines and geometric shapes. The female porch pirate, dressed in a period-appropriate teal flapper dress with a cloche hat, is subtly taking a parcel from a doorstep. The porch is adorned with ornate iron railings and a decorative tiled floor in the characteristic Art Deco patterns. In the backdrop, the street is lined with other stylized houses and period cars, setting a scene that is both historical and vivid.

Last weekend a package thief stole a box from our porch at 11:00 in the morning. Something about the experience has me compelled to share what happened and it might be of interest for those trying to get ahead of the thieves this time of year.

I thought I’d done what I should with our security cameras as a deterrent. I had up three cameras in the front of our house with great coverage. But all that meant is we had excellent footage of her driving past scouting for packages, pulling a u-turn, getting out, putting a phone to her ear to look like she was talking to someone, and then grabbing the package and driving off. Great footage that allowed the police to tie her to all the other packages that were stolen in the neighborhood that day but that’s it.

My main goal of the cameras was to hopefully keep the crime from happening in the first place because once it’s happened the gig’s up - the package is gone.

We don’t have any signs up indicating we have security, but a neighbor who does have a security sign also had their package stolen so they don’t care about the cameras it seems especially because she looked right into our doorbell camera.

There was some humor in the fact that she had her phone to her ear backwards and it’s super clear in the photo.

An image of the thief with their eyes pixelated out. Her phone is obviously backwards. An image of the thief with their eyes pixelated out as she drove by scouting in her black VW SUV.

There has been other packages or items stolen from cars and porches in the neighborhood but they’ve always skipped our house actively shielding their faces from our house. That was at night, though - and I have the Unifi Protect Floodlight that makes it very clear that there’s someone watching.

So I’m not sure what to do next. I experimented with adjusting our Unifi G4 Pro camera toward the street to get a better view of the license plate, but it’s not great and the motion blur makes it barely able to see what state the plate is from much less the numbers.

So right now we just set Unifi Protect to alert us for motion in the front porch period and that should at least let us know when we get a package so we can pick it up quick.

main image from this post generated by DALL•E 3 - images of thief are real