TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Something to keep in mind as we head into the holidays is that more than 200 million Americans say they’ve been victim to a porch pirate in the last year, but there are ways you can stop them.

You can track your items so you know when they arrive.

If you aren’t going to be home, ask a neighbor or friend to pick it up until you get back or even have your packages sent to your job.

Leaders with the Tyler Police Department say there is one thing that can be a true gamechanger in solving these cases. They are also warning potential porch pirates of a new Texas law that was signed back in September of 2021.

If a person is caught with more than 10 stolen packages, they will be charged with a state jail felony.

Another recommendation is to purchase a doorbell camera as they are getting more affordable and more valuable to have for a multitude of reasons, including catching porch pirates.

“A lot of people have the video and audio capable doorbells. They’re getting less and less expensive, and they are very valuable, at least as far as working a criminal case. Let’s say you have somebody steal a bunch of packages and they give us their video. We have the person, but we don’t know who they are, but we can put that on a social media. We can put that out to the press. We can get that out, and that person can be identified.”

Andy Erbaugh // Public Information Officer, Tyler PD