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A 'teachable moment' for Coquitlam teens caught on camera discussing plans to steal packages

Teens need a talking-to, says Coquitlam RCMP, after a social media post shows blurred photos of teens discussing plans to snatch delivered goods from doorsteps.
Porch pirate thief packages delivery home - Getty Images
Shipping boxes left on the front doorstep of a home, a perfect set up for 'porch pirates.'

Members of a Coquitlam community social media page are trying to figure out what to do about a couple of teenagers planning to steal packages from neighbours.

The teens were caught discussing the idea on a doorbell cam and the video was reported to police. Blurred images of the youth were posted to Facebook.

"If this is your child," the poster wrote, "feel free to educate them about Nest Cams & Doorbells."

The poster, who hasn't yet responded to the Tri-City News' query so their name is not being published, said Nest cam audio picked up the entire conversation between two teenagers discussing the possibility of stealing packages.

The photo shows one young person on the door step and another waiting on their scooter on the sidewalk.

The youths look young and the doorbell cams shows they were in the neighbourhood at about 4 p.m., while it was still daylight.

As many as 77 people commented on the post.

Some congratulated the poster for blurring the faces of the youth, while still putting the message out their to warn neighbours and possibly letting parents know.


Others said the faces should not have been blurred and the youths need to be disciplined.

Still, others took the side of the young people, while the property owners said they gave the video to the Coquitlam RCMP but wanted to post the information on social media to inform the teens' family.

"My hope is the parents see this on social media and use it as a teaching moment with their sons about right and wrong, making wise choices, etc. At this young age there is time to learn and grow into nice young men, not hoodlums. We are not comfortable sharing their faces publicly more then we already have here."

Coquitlam RCMP say it's important to report potential criminal activity, even if it's a couple of teens just talking about stealing packages from door steps.

"There’s no crime in talking about it," said Const. Deanna Law, spokesperson for Coquitlam RCMP. "If they were caught all they would say is, 'We were just joking.'"

However, the video could be used as evidence if it matches a similar crime in the area; the video could be used to build a case, she said.

Law said it's important for the community to know that Facebook is not the place to report concerning behaviour.

These types of incidents should be reported to the Coquitlam RCMP, she asserted.

"We need the evidence and we need someone to report it," said Law.

Law agreed there might be someone who would recognize the youth but Coquitlam RCMP could follow up with a conversation to warn them of the consequences of their actions.

Reports of theft of packages from doorsteps are becoming common, said Law, who noted that delivery drivers often just leave boxes on doorsteps without even alerting someone.

Having a plan in place to secure packages is important, she said, to keep them from being stolen.

Here's what Coquitlam RCMP recommend:

  • track the package so you know when it will be dropped off
  • ensure that a signature is required for delivery
  • engage a neighbour to pick up the package if you're not going to be home or have it delivered to the office
  • install security cameras.

Finally, report suspicious behaviour and stolen packages to Coquitlam RCMP to the non-emergency line at 604-945-1550.

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