CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga (WSAV)- A small community in Chatham County is experiencing what they say is an uptick in property theft crimes.
The Shipwatch Road community is home to just a few hundred residents.
Residents say most of those who live there are older people.
Last week, one family’s package was stolen off their front porch, and there is a clear video of the thief thanks to a ring doorbell camera.
The thief hasn’t been caught, and some residents tell us they’re uneasy about the fact criminals were able to access their neighborhood, a place they thought they’d be safe.
“I know there are people here that sleep with a gun by their bed,” neighborhood resident Peter Hershey said.
He says he believes the package thief was the same person who tried to break into his car last week.
Multiple other residents say they’ve had their car broken into as well.
“We watched the footage on both mine and the neighbor that lost the package. So, it’s definitely the same guy. He wore the same clothes,” Hershey said.
Some even say they’ve seen thieves go through their mailboxes.
“These guys are brazen. I mean, they look right at the camera, almost smile, and take whatever they’re taking,” he continued.
Hershey is now encouraging his neighbors to take additional safety steps – like installing their cameras.
“We’re relatively small and isolated, and I think that’s what’s led to the little bit of uproar. But I think they’re gonna go ahead…There’ll be some folks in the neighborhood who put them up,” he said.
No community in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry is immune to porch pirates this time of year. We spoke with a Savannah officer who specializes in property crimes, he tells us property theft traditionally goes up in all areas around the holidays because of convenience.
“Thieves are taking the opportunity to say hey this is our time to get our Christmas instead of working hard. So, they’re taking the easy route and stealing,” Sgt. Aaron Washington with Savannah Police Property Crimes said.
With the holidays right around the corner, law enforcement says that you should always feel free to call them if you see something that just doesn’t look right.