A Thief by Any Other Name
It is funny how we get used to catchy phrases that tend to minimize serious issues. Across Metro-Atlanta in 2018, it became common to hear three such phrases that address crimes that are very troublesome to residents; Porch Pirates, Flippers and Sliders. The phrases sound innocent enough unless you, your loved ones, or neighbors become a victim of one or more. Then you realize, there is nothing catchy or innocent about it, however, there are simple things residents can do to protect themselves from all three.
The term “Porch Pirates” refers to thieves who steal packages that have been delivered and left on residence doorsteps. The best way to protect against them is to have your packages shipped to a conveniently located low-cost post office box where they will be safe until you are ready to pick them up. Of course, doorbell cameras and surveillance cameras help police find the thieves, and having neighbors watch each other’s doorsteps for suspicious activity both help, but the best solution is to arrange for the packages not to be left at the doorstep if at all possible.
“Flippers” are thieves of all ages who go through neighborhoods and parking lots of apartment complexes, hotels and other businesses flipping the door handles of cars to see if any are unlocked. When they find an open door, they will rifle through the car looking for guns, electronics, or other items of value they can steal. Aside from surveillance cameras, dogs, or security patrols, the best way to protect your vehicles is to lock the doors, do not leave valuables inside and hide from sight anything you unavoidably have to leave in an unattended vehicle.
“Sliders” are thieves who typically look for people who are fueling their cars or leave their cars running or unlocked while they are in a convenience store. They slide in and take off in order to steal the car. In some cases, sliders fail to realize there is a baby in the back seat of the car they are stealing. Whether the vehicle is occupied or not, the best way to defend against sliders is to never leave your car running while you are outside of it and be sure it is locked when you leave it unattended, even momentarily, or when you are fueling it.
Marietta has had much less of a problem with porch pirates, flippers or sliders than most of our Metro-Atlanta neighbors, but we cannot allow Marietta residents be lulled into a false sense of security and becoming unwitting victims in 2019. A thief by any other name is still a thief and while the police do their level best to be everywhere, deter or apprehend thieves, everyone is less likely to become a victim by taking some simple preventative steps.
- Chief Dan Flynn