One San Franciscan had enough of porch pirates, so she took matters into her own hands.
Cameo Wood, a screenwriter, director and producer, told The Sacramento Bee that as many as 50 packages of items she’d ordered online had been stolen off of her front porch in a matter of two weeks.
When someone questioned that seemingly high number on Twitter, she responded that on a single day, 11 packages were taken.
It all came to a head when someone made off with her 5½-year-old cat Charm’s expensive medication – on Christmas Eve.
“My cat is really sick – he gets about $980 worth of injections every month,” Wood told The Bee. “He can’t make red or white blood cells anymore.”
The cat, who knows 15 tricks, has a team of veterinarians working to figure out what is wrong – including vets at UC Davis, she said.
On Dec. 24, she received a notification that Charm’s medication had been dropped off on her front porch.
She ran downstairs to bring it inside, and it was already gone.
“So I looked at the video, and USPS has delivered them and 5 minutes later they were stolen,” Wood said. “Someone had been following the truck.”
She drove around in an attempt to track down the thief or the package, but came home empty-handed.
To make matters worse, when she got home she received another notification that packages had been delivered – and they were already taken, too.
Security footage captured everything.
“I was just exasperated,” Wood, who recently made a short sci-fi film, Real Artists, that’s been shown worldwide, said. “And that’s when I put the cat poop in the boxes and put them outside. Just to get some harmless revenge.”
Six of the used-litter-filled packages were taken that day, all by different individuals, she said.
She has filed reports with the United States Postal Service and the police, but no one has been apprehended as of yet, she reported.
“I don’t know why, but my street has been hit pretty hard this year,” she said.
And it’s not just in her neighborhood.
As more people shop online, law enforcement agencies say they’re seeing a ramp up in package thefts, NPR reports.
Nearly 1 in 5 homeowners nationwide have had packages stolen in the past year, a study by Ring, a security company, found.
Wood says she works from home and none of the delivery people rang her doorbell.
She even has a sign that says, “Don’t leave packages here.”
Amazon will give her a refund, but she has to repurchase Charm’s medication, she said.
She’s now planning to get a locked drop box to prevent thefts.
“It’s the worst to have packages stolen during the holidays,” Wood said. “It’s really callous and cruel.”
Her story has spread across the internet and was even shared by actor George Takei.
“I hope it gets some people thinking about the thefts and protecting themselves,” Wood said.