PEI

Packages poached from porches not a big problem on P.E.I., police say

‘Tis the season of giving and receiving gifts, and with families on P.E.I. hunkered down unable to visit in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people will be getting gifts delivered.

'There is a lot of people, a lot of eyes on other people's property'

There hasn't been any increase in mailed packages being yanked from Island porches this year, according to several P.E.I. police forces. (Travis Dolynny/CBC)

'Tis the season of giving and receiving gifts, and with families on P.E.I. hunkered down unable to visit in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people will be getting gifts delivered.

In some places, that means thieves taking advantage of the opportunity to snatch packages from doorsteps.

But on Prince Edward Island, the tale is a little different — this year there has been no increase of mailed packages being yanked from Island porches.

Sean Coombs, deputy chief with the Charlottetown police, said through November and December so far, there hasn't been an increase in this kind of crime.

"We do keep track of that particular kind of theft," Coombs said.

Thefts from porches are 'just the tip of the iceberg to more thefts of that same nature,' says Charlottetown Deputy Chief Sean Coombs. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"We received four occurrences for that kind of theft for the month of November and that is on average with what we would usually get."

Those monthly numbers are low compared to other parts of Canada, Coombs said — and the relative lack of thefts doesn't surprise him.

Islanders staying home

With a recent jump in the number of COVID-19 cases on P.E.I., new measures were put into effect earlier this week, keeping many Islanders home. 

"A lot of people in Charlottetown, and on P.E.I., they know the people who are supposed to be in their subdivision and who their neighbours are," Coombs said.

It's just as important a theft as any other kind​​​​​​.— Deputy Chief Sean Coombs

"There is a lot of people, a lot of eyes on other people's property and that's one of the reasons why that kind of theft hasn't taken off like it has in other parts."

People should be vigilant and take note of who and what vehicles are in their community, Coombs said.

If a theft happens, Coombs said having a licence plate number or description of the suspect could help in tracking down the goods or arresting the culprit.

"[If] we have the evidence, we are definitely going to lay the charge. It's just as important a theft as any other kind," he said.

"As a matter of fact, it is probably just the tip of the iceberg to more thefts of that same nature." 

Package theft not a problem

Sgt. Craig Eveleigh says only one theft from a porch has been reported in the last 60 days. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

It's not just Charlottetown — there hasn't been a increase in package thefts in other areas of P.E.I. either.

Summerside police said there were no recent reports of package thefts and it isn't a problem in the area.

Queens District RCMP Sgt. Craig Eveleigh said there haven't been many reports of packages being stolen either.

In the last 60 days, only one theft was reported, Eveleigh said. He added that he wasn't sure if all thefts were being reported, though.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

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