John & Shari: Porch pirates risk a lot for unknown packages

Dec 19, 2021, 9:28 AM
porch pirates...
A package is scanned at an Amazon warehouse. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

It’s the holiday season, people are expecting packages, and that means the porch pirates are back.

“The porch pirates love Seattle because I guess more people buy things from Amazon, and they’re away longer, so the stuff sitting on their porch is still there when the pirates come in with their peg leg, and their parrot, and the eyepatch on the one eye, and they just pick the thing up, arr, and off they go,” KIRO Radio host John Curley said.

“It’s pretty bad in Seattle,” co-host Shari Elliker noted. “Two-hundred and seven billion packages, they say, will be delivered by Amazon this year. And in [Washington], the numbers are 1,908 per 100,000 residents, that’s how many packages were stolen [last year].”

Or at least, that’s how many were reported.

The Washington, D.C., area — where Shari lives — was the worst spot, with 3,775 per 100,000.

Shari shared a story about seeing a porch pirate in action.

“We live in Old Town Alexandria, which is a little walkable town and everything, and all the houses are like row houses,” she explained. “So we had been victims of this, and there had been a lot of it going on. One night, we were out, and we were out with a couple of friends — we were actually in a car, and we watched these two teenagers run up to a house, grab a package, and take off.”

“Trevor, my husband, decided that he was going to stop these guys,” she continued. “He gets out of the car and he’s running after them, and us, we’re in the car and we’re yelling, ‘Trevor, stop it, stop it, this isn’t worth it. Don’t do it.'”

The guys that stole the package are unwrapping it, Shari said, ripping it open and throwing the packaging as they’re running.

“So they throw whatever it was they took, they look at it, they throw whatever’s in the package on the ground and they keep running,” Shari said. “So Trevor, trying to be the Good Samaritan, he runs over, grabs the package, takes it back to the porch and leaves it for the person, tucks it in somewhere. Anyway, the thing that they stole, they had no use for it — it was a nursing bra.”

She says her husband was pretty close to catching the thieves, but she thinks they were pretty young and scared so she’s not sure anything would have happened if he caught up to them.

“He would have just said, ‘give me back that package,'” Shari said.

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John says that’s the weird thing about doing this kind of stealing is that you don’t know what you’ll get.

“You’re going up onto the front porch, there’s a lot of people who have cameras, you’re going to steal something, you don’t know what it is,” John said. “It could be bottlecaps, … they’ll ship you anything!”

“You’re possibly going to get caught by the cops and you’re going to get arrested and everything else to steal something you have no idea what the value is,” he added.

“It’s like ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ right?” Shari said. “You don’t know what’s going to be behind that big box or that curtain or whatever. But you’re going to risk it all just for that one thing. And it could be, you know, a nursing bra that you won’t be able to use as a teenager.”

Listen to the John Curley and Shari Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

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John & Shari: Porch pirates risk a lot for unknown packages