Porch pirate flees crime on scooter

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) — After someone stole a package from John Withers’ porch, he took to social media to let his neighbors know about what happened. He says it wasn’t long before other comments started coming in expressing they had also been victimized.

Unsurprisingly, as the Washington County Sherriff’s Office says it’s the time of year porch pirates are on the prowl.

In this instance, Withers’ stolen package was full of Christmas gifts for his nephews.

“It was a Christmas book and a three-pack of Star Wars-themed beach balls,” Withers said. “My guess is he thought the smaller package was electronics.”

After snatching it off the porch, Withers calls the thief’s getaway vehicle “genius.”

“He got on a scooter, and he left,” he said. “It’s his perfect scam of, ‘I can get away from someone quicker. If they follow me in a car, I can go someplace that a car doesn’t fit.’”

He says it’s also smart because there’s no license plate to track. However, he did see it all unfolding on his ring camera.

“When I saw it was leaving,” Withers recalled, “I was like, ‘I got to go get the box back!'”

He didn’t see him, but his wife did about a block away and watched as he made a change of clothes.

“He took his hat off and he had another layer of pants on,” he said. “If someone immediately comes out like I did, they’re not going to immediately recognize him. That’s because he’s already popped the hat off, which is what I was looking for.”

He thinks he’s following around delivery trucks, as the package was only delivered a couple of minutes before it was stolen. Withers calls him a professional.

“Apparently it’s working for him,” he laughed.

The Washington County Sherriff’s Office says to be diligent this time of year. Noting that a few easy steps can mitigate theft. Don’t leave packages on your porch for too long, try scheduling a time or a place to pick it up or have trusted neighbors take them in for you.

Plus, they say having cameras on your porch can be a deterrent to theft, as well as leaving house lights on as if someone were home.

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