NYPD Crime Prevention Unit fighting back against porch pirates
There is no greater grinch than a porch pirate - which is why the NYPD's Crime Prevention unit is working to train officers on how eliminate package thieves.
The Crime Prevention Unit is led by Sgt. Kevin Kelly.
All officers in the unit are required to take Kelly's security training course. During the seven-day course, officers learn how to do security checks for businesses, residential buildings and homes, and places of worship and provide owners with safety recommendations.
"We follow local crimes, trends and patterns, local scams as well, and we dissect them and look for the opportunity that these individuals are taken advantage of, and we teach the public on how they can remove that opportunity from becoming a victim," said Kelly.
Also, on the syllabus is how to navigate porch pirates. During a single week in December, NYPD crime data shows there were at least 419 reported stolen packages citywide.
Kelly says these thieves thrive on opportunity.
"You could see an uptick in it, like myself I order a lot of stuff on amazon, so I have packages come in all throughout the day, so that's more of an opportunity, when you create more of an opportunity you see that uptick in crime," said Kelly.
And its not just porch pirates trying to steal Christmas. Kelly says gift card scams are also on the rise.
"There is a lot of scams out there with gift cards, so if you are going out to buy gift cards just know gift cards are for gifts not payments," said Kelly.
He recommends only purchase gift cards from trusted retailers.
Crime Prevention officers are located at every precinct across the city. Kelly says they are also trained senior liaisons to help elderly residents who may fall victims to these scams or thefts.