Porch pirate caught on camera in Mueller neighborhood

One resident in the Mueller neighborhood in East Austin says porch pirates are a big problem.

Julie Schell's doorbell camera captured a porch pirate in action last week. 

Schell was home and got a delivery notification, and when she went to look, saw a porch pirate on her doorbell camera take the delivery within minutes of it being dropped off.

"She had to have been watching him come and drop off the package otherwise she wouldn't have known that, because it was so fast after he left," Schell said. "I felt violated that someone would be so emboldened."

Schell says normally neighbors pick up packages for each other, but this time she didn't know it had arrived.

"I have specific instructions to ring the doorbell, so that I hear it, and also to put it under the chair. Those instructions weren't followed," she said.

From now on she says she will have packages delivered to another location.


Her techniques echo tips from police: having a trusted person pick up deliveries, having a doorbell camera, and having shipments sent somewhere else.

Porch pirates are a problem everywhere. Round Rock Police say the prevalence of surveillance cameras helps.

"If you're committing these package thefts, we have a lot higher chance these days of catching you than we have in the past," Asst. Chief Justin Carmichael said.

Schell says a porch pirate struck her home a couple of years ago as well. In this recent case, she's still in the claim process with the shipper.

"It was $150-$175 worth of clothing that I got on super Black Friday sales," she said.

Schell says her message to the thief would be, "it seems like you might be in need, or you might have something that might compel you to do this, might have some desperation, but it's actually really harmful to the people it's happening to," she said. "I would love to have my package back, and I'd love to find another way to help rather than getting violated in my own home."