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Robbinsdale and Crystal police arrest suspected 'porch pirates'

The two are believed to have stolen a number of packages in the area.

If you live in Robbinsdale or Crystal and have had an Amazon package go missing from your doorstep recently, your local police department would like to hear from you.

That's because authorities have caught a pair of suspects in what appears to be a package-theft spree.

On Friday, in a Facebook post titled "PACKAGE THIEVES ARRESTED" (caps theirs), the city of Robbinsdale announced that local officers stopped a vehicle with two occupants and "a carload of stolen items from packages left on doorsteps" inside.

This was thanks to two tips from alert citizens, one who reported a "suspicious vehicle and possible package theft in progress" in the 4200 block of Abbott Ave N., and another who made a similar report about an hour later in the 4000 block of Zane Ave N.

Authorities say Robbinsdale and Crystal police worked together to track down the vehicle. 

"This arrest was a prime example of the effective partnership between the police and residents working together to solve and prevent crime," the Facebook post says.

The two suspects are now in a Hennepin County jail awaiting theft charges, and since the stolen packages found in their car are believed to be from Robbinsdale and Crystal, police are asking residents of both towns to contact them if they think they may have been robbed.

Package thefts on the rise 

There's data to suggest that, as e-commerce becomes more and more popular, package theft is increasing.

According to a report from InsuranceQuotes, 25.9 million Americans had a package stolen from their property in 2017 – "up from 23.5 million porch thefts reported in 2015."

It's a widespread problem, but sorry, local readers: it's especially bad in the Twin Cities, with one study putting Minneapolis at number three (right behind Seattle and San Francisco) in a list of the "Top 10 cities for Amazon Package Theft."

And, yes, the holiday gift-giving season is the most wonderful time of year for porch pirates, too. 

"At this time of year, Police Departments all over the country see an increase in the number of packages stolen from doorsteps," the city of Eagan says. 

Luckily, there's plenty you can do to prevent porch piracy from happening to you. 

CNET recommends using an Amazon locker, enlisting your neighbors' help, or having packages delivered to your office, among other tactics.

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