MIDLAND, Texas — Arrrrrgh, porch pirates are the worst. And the Midland Police know it.
That is why since Sept. 1, 2019, they have made a few changes to help catch people who steal packages and mail in the Basin.
“We're just trying to have more patrol by's in neighborhoods,” Midland Police Sgt. Michael Chandler said.
Since September, new laws hit the books in Texas making porch pirating a felony. Convicted mail thieves could be sentenced to between 180 days in jail and 10 years in prison, depending on how many people they have targeted.
"Before it was just the value of the item that was taken, that’s how the law was made," Chandler said. "Now it’s up to a state jail felony if you steal."
Those laws are only good if the person gets caught, which doesn’t always happen.
“Hard to say just depends, it’s a 50-50 chance we catch him or we don’t," Chandler said. "Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy. It just depends on video footage and the suspect."
That is why police say it is worth investing in a security camera system or camera doorbell.
“I believe it is a good investment and helps you keep an eye on your items at the door," Chandler said. "It also gives us a good look at the suspect or suspects and possibly even the vehicle description.”
There are other options to avoid getting things stolen too.
“If you know you have a package on the front porch, and you have a neighbor that you trust, maybe you can call your neighbor have them go pick up the package," Chandler said. "Or come home on your lunch break and pick up the package."
Chandler says not to leave a package on the porch for an extended period of time.
With more people shopping online and getting things delivered to their homes, Midland Police say porch pirates are becoming a bigger trend.
Since Sept. 1, ten incidents have been reported to MPD. That number is expected to go up as we head into the holiday season.