MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There’s a safety alert and warning about suspected serial porch pirates stealing packages from homes in West Miami and southwest Miami-Dade.
“This was primarily happening around Christmas time, but there are now more and more people purchasing items on the internet,” said West Miami Police Chief Nelson Andreu. “And especially when they have larger items on their porch, people can see them while driving around. In one case here, the thief is so nonchalant it seems like he thinks they are his packages.”
CBS4’S Peter D’Oench has spoken with police and victims and has obtained exclusive surveillance tape of the suspects who have robbed homeowners.
“It sucks to get my money stolen,” said homeowner Jorge Valdes. “They pretty much stole my money because they took something that I bought. To think that someone would violate the security of my home by coming to my porch no matter how much you try and secure it and take items from your house.”
Valdes said it was the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday when a thief drove up to his home near SW 115th Ave. and 126th St. in a blue BMW and opened his truck and casually walked to the front of his home and stole a box with parts for his ATV.
That suspect is captured on camera wearing a hoody. A police source told CBS4 that this thief may have victimized other homeowners as well.
Valdes said the thief was seen throwing another box out of the window of his car with items in it that were most likely from at least one previous robbery. He is at wit’s end.
“I thought of putting a storage box in front of my house so I could put boxes in there to make it more difficult for someone to do this again,” he said. “You have a real sense of violation.”
Chief Andreu is also issuing a warning about a suspected porch thief who was captured on camera on January 15th victimizing a homeowner near SW 9th St. and 65th Ave.
He is captured on camera walking up to the home and taking two boxes and going to a waiting burgundy Mazda that had a woman sitting in the front passenger seat.
Andreu said that man appears to be in his 30s.
D’Oench also spoke with that victim who told him the thief took boxes with “home decor and furniture items.”
“When you are expecting a UPS or FedEX delivery, you might want to contact a relative to help be on the look or make arrangements in advance in regard to the delivery to keep anyone else from trying to pick up your packages,” Andreu said.
Chief Andreu also has a warning about a suspected serial thief who is captured on camera robbing and trying to rob a T-Mobile store.
Andreu said he has struck the same T-Mobile store on SW 8th St. at 57th Avenue three times and has victimized two T-Mobile stores in Broward.
Andreu said he is primarily interested in iPhone 11s worth at least $1,100. He suspects the thief may be trying to sell them to buyers in South and Central America for between $500 and $600.
“You see on one video where he tries to break a cable holding one of the iPhones and he runs away,” said Andreu. “My concern is that the thief sooner or later will come in contact with some employee who will challenge him and who knows that will occur. Right now he is targeting these cellphone stores so we are alerting them to be aware of this individual.”
Andreu said the thief has a stock build, is between 5’8” and 5’9” tall and is in his 20s and has a beard and has not been using a weapon.
In many cases he said the suspect is in and out of the stores in eight seconds. He was seen driving a white Nissan pickup truck.
Anyone who recognizes the suspects should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).