Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a woman who was caught on camera allegedly stealing a parcel from a porch in central Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a woman who was caught on camera allegedly stealing a parcel from a porch in central Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)

VIDEO: ‘Porch pirate’ strikes in alleged parcel theft from Nanaimo home

Vancouver Island RCMP warn about parcel theft ahead of holiday gift-giving

Police in Nanaimo have turned to the public for help identifying a woman who was caught on camera allegedly stealing a parcel from a front porch.

The theft happened at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, at a home in central Nanaimo, according to an RCMP press release, which said the location of the theft will not be released to protect the identity of the homeowner who told police he and his wife were expecting a parcel containing household items that was to be dropped off by a local courier company they’d used numerous times previously.

At 9:30 a.m. they received a notification from their home security system that the parcel was delivered, but then another notification came through at 10:45 a.m. that the parcel had been picked up. A check of the security system showed footage of a woman who picked up a parcel and left with it.

The female suspect, approximately 30-35 years old, has long blonde hair and was a passenger in a small blue, four-door vehicle.

“These incidents are expected to increase throughout the holiday season,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in the press release. “Don’t become a victim and use some basic rules around home deliveries.”

In a pandemic year when more parcels than ever will be making their way to doorsteps, police are advising precautions for those giving and receiving packages.

“Criminals have been anxiously honing their craft in anticipation of the Christmas holiday season, and as in years past, they will not will not miss any sleep or even a blink of the eye, when they steal your treasured gifts … Do not let this happen to you,” noted Nanaimo RCMP in a press release.

On Dec. 3, a parcel was snatched within minutes of its dropoff in central Nanaimo. A neighbour told police a white Jeep pulled into the driveway just minutes after a courier company dropped the parcel at the front door. The suspect driving the Jeep was described as possibly of Middle Eastern descent.

Police suggest that people shouldn’t have any parcels delivered when they aren’t home, and should “arrange for a secondary pick up location or have them delivered when you know you will be home.”

RCMP also warn consumers to take care when shopping online to try to verify that a website is legitimate.

“Online criminals will make websites that mirror real companies. The only difference may be the spelling of the web address. Double check that you correctly entered the web address before purchasing anything,” police say.

Anyone with information about the Dec. 9 theft is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency number at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2020-43981.

To report fraud attempts, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or online here.



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