Philly councilman wants to give thieving ‘porch pirates’ the heave-ho

 Packages move down a conveyer belt at Amazon's Fulfillment center in New Castle, Del. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Packages move down a conveyer belt at Amazon's Fulfillment center in New Castle, Del. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Some modern-day marauders have been plying the streets of Philadelphia lately in search of treasure.

Dubbed “porch pirates,” they are taking advantage of online shoppers whose goods are delivered during the day when no one is home.

City Councilman Curtis Jones wants it to stop, and he plans to hold hearings on how to rein in the scurvy dogs.

“There are teams of folk who follow UPS, Fed Ex, and postal trucks around to look at what type and shape of the box — and where targets of opportunity are,” he said.

Jones would like to involve everyone from the police to the post office to UPS in working out a solution to the problem that his constituents have told him is growing.

“Some of it is a reaction to gentrification — rich people buying rich things in poor neighborhoods,” he said. “Some of it is just ‘Merry Christmas to me! I’m going to follow a truck until I find a gift that I like.’ And we have to react to that.”

Jones’ determination is also inspired by the memory of his mother.

“My mother did Home Shopping Network like it was a religion,” he said. “It would have broken her heart to have her packages stolen.”

Council has not set a date for hearings on the matter.

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