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Neighbors fight back against porch pirates

Posted at 10:24 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 21:27:47-05

PHOENIX — Package thefts across the Valley - it's not something new but what is new, is the approach neighbors are taking to fight back.

"Walked here... their face was uncovered. They came up to the door; they stooped down. They picked it up and kind of hopped and skipped and walked away," says Jacob Pritchett, who lives in a north Encanto neighborhood.

Jacob Pritchett received motion detection on his doorbell camera just a half-hour after his new Xbox was delivered. The thief then jumped into a getaway car.

"I looked to see if there is some type of resource specifically for telling people about these kinds of thefts in the area, and I didn't see anything," says Pritchett.

Pritchett and his wife decided to take things into their own hands. They created a website called, "The Plank," to supplement law enforcement efforts by soliciting tips about these crimes.

"It's good when neighbors can look out for each other. This can give people a central resource. They can see these kinds of things; we can email people who sign up. We already have a newsletter," says Pritchett.

You can submit details about a theft, along with videos and pictures. The Pritchett's will then publish the post, which can remain anonymous. The goal is to raise awareness and expose these crooks.

"I think it prevents the criminals from doing it as well, if they're seeing their face plastered everywhere," said Ashley Pritchett.

The pandemic has led to more package deliveries than ever before, bringing more temptation. In many cases, the thief knows they are being recorded. But, it doesn't stop them from taking what they want.

"It affects the businesses that are sending you the packages. It affects the credit card companies. It affects the delivery companies, and it affects the people who were stolen from and whoever they were going to give gifts to. If we are able to catch just a couple of these people or something, it would be cathartic for everybody," says Pritchett.