Neighbor finds empty package amid Greenville porch thefts

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A suspected porch pirate and her accomplice have been arrested by Greenville police and charged with misdemeanor larceny. One day after one of the thefts, a neighbor found evidence of the crime.

Stephen Nilsen and his wife were driving through their neighborhood when they spotted a cardboard box on the side of the road.

“We saw the address was one of our neighbors here,” Nilsen said.

The couple then utilized the same technology that helped identify the suspected porch pirates in the first place: a doorbell camera.

“We went ahead and drove it around and talked to them through their Ring doorbell,” Nilsen said. “We were letting them know we found it and were dropping it off.”

As for the package, the box was empty.

Nilsen says he hopes the evidence could be used in some kind of insurance or refund claim for the neighbor who is missing their ordered package.

Investigators are still working to recover the stolen packages.

Kristen Hunter with the Greenville Police Department said the doorbell camera was instrumental in solving the case so quickly.

“Having that video evidence, should a crime occur, it’s essential,” Hunter said.

Greenville police attempt to catch porch pirates red-handed by using decoy packages fit with GPS tracking devices.

“We hope by advertising… that serves as a deterrent as well for those who may be looking to commit a crime,” Hunter said.

Hunter also suggests to people that they should try to be home to receive their packages as soon as they are delivered. Another safeguard is changing the delivery address to a place of work or utilizing package pick-up lockers depending on the delivery service.

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