HomeBillings NewsBillings Police Department launches a program to tackle increasing porch pirate issue

Billings Police Department launches a program to tackle increasing porch pirate issue

Billings, Montana – Residents of Billings are experiencing a concerning rise in porch piracy incidents, particularly after the Christmas season, prompting both community and police action to enhance security and safety.

Douglas Griggs, a decade-long resident of Billings, shared his concerns about the safety of his family despite installing 11 security cameras around his new house. Griggs recounted about five instances of suspicious activity around his home, including theft and trespassing. “There’s been roughly five occasions where there’s been people who creeped around either come in and steal something or do something they know they shouldn’t be,” he said.

The issue hit close to home for Griggs and his family following a recent incident. He detailed how a porch pirate approached their house, lingering at their doorway and peeking into their garage. This intrusion has left his wife extremely distressed, particularly due to the presence of young children in their home. “My wife has been sick to her stomach, and I believe it has something to do with the stress of this incident,” Griggs explained.

In response to the uptick in such crimes, the Billings Police Department (BPD) has initiated ‘Project Eyes on the Block.’ This innovative program encourages residents to collaborate with the police by sharing security camera footage in the event of a crime. The project aims to provide officers with crucial information, potentially accelerating criminal investigations.

Residents interested in joining the program are required to fill out an online form, providing details such as their name, address, phone number, camera brand, and the number of cameras installed on their property. This information will be accessible exclusively to BPD officers and community service officers, ensuring privacy and confidentiality.

In situations where video evidence is needed, a police officer will contact the participant to review any relevant footage. This collaborative approach between the community and the police department is a strategic effort to enhance neighborhood safety and deter criminal activities like porch piracy.

Additionally, BPD is reminding residents of their package pick-up program at the Crime Prevention Center. This service allows residents to have their packages delivered to the center, where they can then schedule a time for pick-up. This program, which is particularly useful during high-risk periods for theft, like the holiday season, is another measure taken by BPD to combat the increasing issue of package theft in the community.

The rise in porch piracy in Billings is a significant concern, impacting the sense of security and well-being of its residents. The proactive measures taken by the Billings Police Department, coupled with community involvement, represent a concerted effort to address this issue and restore peace of mind to the residents of Billings.

Mia White



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