Porch pirates set sail, DPD encourages citizens to be vigilant

Porch pirates have already set sail this year, and the Dickinson Police Department have taken reports of stolen packages from doorsteps and are looking for two suspects: a male and female, driving a dark colored pickup. DPD is encouraging residents to be mindful of porch pirates and to report any information regarding recent thefts to the Badlands Crimestoppers.

The constant buzzing of delivery trucks through residential streets and the piling up of packages on porches means only one thing: Christmas shopping is well underway – and with it, police say reports of package theft are a concern. (Dickinson Press File Photo)

With holiday shipments being delivered to your front door steps, be mindful of porch pirates that have already set sail and stolen a few packages in the area. The Dickinson Police Department is recommending citizens to be aware of these thieves.

Currently, the DPD is looking for two suspects, a male and female, who have stolen packages from doorsteps in the city last week and were seen driving a dark colored pickup truck. Det. Sgt. Kylan Klauzer of the DPD said that most of these incidents occur when people are not at home and packages are left on a resident’s porch or doorstep making it an easy target for thieves.

Porch pirates have increased in the last five to 10 years. In order to catch these criminals, it takes community attentiveness and awareness, Klauzer said.

“In the past, you get the vigilance in the neighborhoods that it just doesn’t stop with pirates. But people who are paying attention to things in the area — what’s common and what’s uncommon; what’s normal and what’s not normal,” Klauzer noted.

Sometimes it will be community police efforts in which people who are retired or those working from home will catch the thieves in action and report it. Even if it’s just a suspicious vehicle driving through the neighborhood or someone lurking around that doesn’t belong to the area, Klauzer encourages people to be mindful of their surroundings and to report anything that seems skeptical.


“But ultimately, the individuals that are doing it obviously there’s usually more than one looking out in the vehicle; there’s that to be had. So catching them in the act or catching them in progress by the officers is less common than a keenly aware neighbor citizen that is, not in a marked unit, (but who) is there being vigilant for their community,” he added.

During this holiday season, Klauzer remarked that it would be a wise decision to turn up the sensitivity on people’s doorbell cameras. When you place an order, there are ways to avoid someone from stealing your packages, Klauzer said, noting that even putting special directions on the shipment will prevent a robbery from happening.

To avoid porch pirates stealing your packages, here are some tips from the DPD to keep your deliveries safe and sound:

  • Schedule deliveries for when you will be home.

  • Have packages delivered at your work if it is allowed.

  • Arrange for a neighbor to pick up packages.

  • Install a lock box.

  • Utilize a commercial mailbox service.

  • Require delivery signatures if shipment allows.

  • Invest in a security system or digital doorbell.

  • Report suspicious activity to police immediately.

If you have information about the two porch pirate suspects or if you see anything abnormal in your neighborhood, contact the Badlands Crime Stoppers by calling 701-456-7754 or text 701-840-6108 to report a crime.

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
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