NORFOLK, Virginia – Video from the doorbell shows a man running to the front porch of a Norfolk house and picking up several packages within seconds in broad daylight.
The cheeky theft was caught on Stephanie Allen’s doorbell camera a few weeks ago.
“Before I could even get out here to pick up the packages, someone had pulled up outside my house,” Allen said. “They stopped at a stop sign so as not to get caught. They got out of the car, walked up my driveway, grabbed my packages, almost fell and then ran away, and off they went.
Since then, Allen has said she is having a nightmare.
“As soon as I saw the video, I felt completely raped,” she said. “There is no reason to do this.”
The Navy veteran said his essential medication for his PTSD was in one of the stolen packages. She said the prescription helps her sleep at night.
“They help me control my dreams,” Allen said. “I fight at night. If I sleep without them, my service dog should lie on top of me to calm me down. It’s just a chore.
The theft also affected her vacation spirit. This year, she said she had not decorated.
“My husband and I didn’t really have Christmas because I’m usually the lady on the street who decorates the house for the block,” Allen said.
Allen said she had the drug delivered to her home through the VA. Collecting them from the hospital is not really an option for her. She said her husband had a compromised immune system.
“It’s like a Catch-22,” she said. “If I go, I submit to the possibility of getting sick and taking him home, or these porch pirates come back to my house and steal.”
To prevent porch hackers from stealing your packages, the experts have a few suggestions. Ship them to work; ask a neighbor who is at home to watch; notify others of the theft on social media or community apps like Nextdoor; require a signature for the package. You can also request other pickup and delivery options.
Allen immediately alerted his neighbors to Nextdoor, hoping that didn’t happen to anyone else.
“When people steal things, you don’t know what’s in those boxes or how people have to survive with what’s in those boxes,” Allen said. “There are people who depend on this drug. We need our medicine.
The VA sent another prescription for Allen and this time she said she would be on the lookout for when.
As for the thieves, she asks them to do the right thing and bring back her medication, no questions asked.