KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – UPDATE – A woman has been identified and arrested in Kingsport thanks to the help of citizen tips, according to the Kingsport Police Department.
A release from KPD says numerous citizen tips came in as a response to asking for the public’s help in December to identify the “porch pirate.”
KPD reports the suspect was identified as Crystal Dee Line, 43, and an arrest warrant was obtained for her on January 6.
Line was arrested on Tuesday when she was found by an officer on a routine traffic stop.
The release also says she was found in possession of a glass pipe coated in a residue that indicated illegal drug use.
Line was charged with theft of property under $1,000 in relation to the video of the two packages being stolen and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Line was transported to the Kingsport City Jail, and she remains on a $1,500 bond as of 12:15 p.m.
A woman was caught on home video surveillance footage stealing two packages from a front porch on Packing House Road, according to a Kingsport Police release.
Police say that the suspect was a passenger in what appeared to be a burgundy Ford Taurus sedan.
The video footage shows the woman appearing to knock on the front door of the residence. When nobody answered, she proceeded to steal the packages.
The footage is available on the Kingsport Police Department YouTube channel:
Anyone who recognizes her is asked to contact Detectives in the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.
Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available here.
Police say this particular crime typically increases in frequency during the holiday season, and those individuals who commit it are commonly referred to as “Porch Pirates.”
According to the police report, the best way to prevent it is to avoid leaving unattended packages outside your residence, especially for extended periods of time.
Police encourage the public to invest in and install video surveillance cameras that monitor the drop off location and clearly display signs announcing their presence to deter thieves.
“While cameras are not guaranteed to prevent this crime from happening, they greatly increase the chances of identifying the culprit,” the report said.
The report also suggested that if you will not be home at the time your package is scheduled to be delivered, consider having it shipped to a different and more secure location, such as your place of work or the residence of a trusted friend or family member who will be home at the time of delivery.
“Other options include shopping locally rather than online when possible, having the package held by the delivery service for you to pick up at their distribution center at your convenience, or utilizing other secure delivery services such as Amazon Locker,” the report said.