Columbus police increase patrols to target holiday ‘porch pirates’

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus police have stepped up some neighborhood patrols to try to reduce the incidence of package thefts.

Already this week, four people have been arrested on charges of stealing delivery packages off of porches.

Sgt. Dean Worthington says it’s happening in neighborhoods throughout the city. “Harrison West, German Village, Short North, Merion Village, the ones that are closer to downtown are the ones that seem to get the most attention,” Worthington said.

Short North resident Bob Saultz says he tries to schedule deliveries for times when he knows he’ll be home.  But even then, he has had things come up missing. “A couple of weeks ago we came up with a small package missing out of the mail but we called the company and they sent another one out,” Saultz said.

Sgt Worthington says the increased use of porch cameras has raised the visibility of package thefts – especially this time of year when more and more people are ordering more and more things online. He says the videos can make a big difference for investigators. “Especially if it’s a good video,” Worthington said. “Getting it out on social media – you wouldn’t believe the response we get from the public. They’ll dime each other out in a heartbeat.”

Police suggest signing up for package tracking, having packages delivered to a back door or to a neighbor or even to your work address.

UPS, Fed-Ex and the Post Office also offer to hold your packages at a local facility.

Sgt. Worthington says officers are stepping up prevention efforts. “We try to get cruisers into the neighborhoods more during the holiday season just to have concentrated patrols within the neighborhoods rather than being on the main streets,” Worthington said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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