WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (FOX 13) - A porch pirate was placed in a predicament after a witness spotted him grabbing packages that didn’t belong to him, deputies said.
Polk County deputies are searching for the suspect. They said on March 21, around 2:30 p.m. the unidentified man was seeing picking up a delivered package from the front porch of a home. He took it to the back of the home, returned to the front porch and did the same with another package. The incident took place in the Lake Ned area, along Cypress Gardens Road, in Winter Haven.
The maneuver was caught on surveillance video, and by a man named Richard, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Now, we often say, ‘If you see something, say something,’ and by that, we mean that we want you to say something to law enforcement,” according to the agency’s Facebook post. “Well, Richard did say something…to the Porch Pirate. Walked right up to him and confronted him about taking the packages.”
Deputies said they would never recommend anyone to confront a criminal, “but having met Richard, we believe he could have handled the Porch Pirate easily had things turned physical. Good job, Richard (thunderous cop applause ensues). But still, be careful out there! You never know if a thief is armed.”
According to investigators, the suspect tried to explain he was protecting the packages after noticing some kids had taken them. He said he ran after the children and retrieved the packages.
However, surveillance video showed the suspect open one of the packages with a knife. Richard’s encounter likely prevented the packages from being stolen.
Even though the suspect didn’t flee with the packages, the sheriff’s office said he will likely face a theft charge.
“He did not remove the items from the property, but he did move them to a place of concealment, and opened one of them before he was confronted. His actions would meet the criteria for theft,” they said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective VonLeue at 863-297-1107. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or online at www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.