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Porch pirates steal holiday packages

Holiday grinches are out and about this year and looking for victims of opportunity, as the Oakland County Sheriff's Office has received multiple reports of packages being stolen from residents' front porches in Rochester Hills.

More than $250 in packages were stolen sometime on Saturday, December 2, from a home in the 2000 block of Reagan Drive, a homeowner told sheriff's deputies. The two pairs of boots and two beanie hats were apparently stolen from their front porch. The victim said they received email notification that the packages were delivered, but they were missing from the porch that day.

Another victim told deputies a package containing a sweatshirt was stolen from her porch between 5:30 and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12, in the 1600 block of Serene Court. The victim told deputies she noticed the package on the porch, but left to drive a family member to a religion class. When she returned about a half hour later, the package was missing.

The victim told deputies she observed a car, possibly an AMC Gremlin, stopped in the area without any lights on at the time. The victim's neighbor told her they observed the car in the drive and driver remove something from the porch.

The incidents come about two weeks after the Rochester Police Department warned residents to beware of "porch pirates," or thieves who target home deliveries left unattended.

"There have been a couple of packages being removed from porches," the department said.

The department recommended a list of tips to avoid being targeted by those looking for easy pickings during the holiday shopping season.

"It's a good idea to have a plan for holiday package deliveries," the department said. "You can have items shipped to your work, or ask a neighbor who is home during the day to keep an eye out. In addition, tracking your packages, being available for delivery, requiring a signature and opting for an in-store pickup when available are all preventative measures."

The department also recommended keeping a security camera or doorbell camera pointed at your doorstep as a means of preventing thieves.

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