KGNS On Your Side: The importance of reporting parcel theft

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 12:10 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tx (KGNS) - Purchasing items online can be a fast and convenient way to do your shopping; however, it can also be the easiest way to become a victim of theft.

According to, more than 49 million Americans have had at least one package stolen from their porch last year.

A recent situation that was reported in Laredo is drawing attention to a new problem.

Last year, 36 cases of parcel theft were reported to the Laredo Police Department. The majority solved by officers investigating these porch pirates.

“There was one particular ring that we had discovered was going literally following parcel deliveries around neighborhoods and literally just picking up the packages that way and so they were successfully identified and arrested,” said Investigator Joe Baeza.

Investigator Baeza is referring to the arrest of Florentino Martinez and Victor Manuel Ortiz.

Both men were caught on surveillance video nabbing packages from homes in south Laredo last year.

Fortunately, the increased purchase of home surveillance systems has assisted in the identification of these types of criminals.

Video of a recent incident posted on social media app, Nextdoor shows an apparent porch pirate caught on camera red handed.

In this particular case, the victim didn’t report the incident to police which according to investigator Baeza leads to a bigger problem.

“It only leads to making the criminal more comfortable and identifying an easy target or an easy section of town that you know no one is really raising a fuss it and they’re able to kind of steal at will almost,” said Baeza.

Authorities say no matter the price of the parcel, you can report the incident to police or even the parcel company.

There are several ways to avoid falling victim to parcel theft.

According to, you can give your delivery service special instructions, keep tabs of your package by signing up for alerts with your delivery service or require a signature.

In 2019, the State of Texas implemented harsher penalties for porch pirates.

According to the law, it’s a state felony if you steal from less than 10 people.

A second-degree felony if you steal from 20 to 50 people and a first-degree felony if you steal from more than 50 people.

If you would like to report parcel theft contact 956-795-2800.

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