‘The audacity’ | Porch pirates in U-Haul target northwest-side neighborhood, video shows

Two suspects in a white pickup truck were caught on camera stealing packages last week. U-Haul says it will work with law enforcement.

SAN ANTONIO — Two suspected porch pirates used a U-Haul as their getaway vehicle during a brazen package theft on the northwest side. The incident was caught on camera.

The victim, Alfonso Smith, says it happened on Copper Cave near Babcock Road.

“On Tuesday, my wife got a message saying her package was delivered,” said Smith. “She said, ‘Okay, I haven’t got it, I didn’t receive it.’ So, she went and played the cameras back.”

The surveillance video shows a man driving a U-Haul pickup truck past Smith’s home, and then reversing it. A suspect can be seen parking in front of the driveway. He then jumps out of the truck, runs to Smith’s porch, and picks up the package.

“He got the package, waved at us through the camera like he was having fun with it,” said Smith. “He threw the package in the back of the truck and drove off slowly. It looked like he was searching for more packages in the neighborhood.”

The Navy veteran told KENS 5 what the thief made off with wasn’t even worth the $19.95 daily U-Haul.

“It was some sunflower seeds,” said Smith. “My wife bought it for the office. It wasn’t worthwhile, but somebody had the audacity to come into my yard and take a package – that’s what I can’t get over.”

What disturbs Smith even more are two other boxes that are clearly visible in the bed of the pickup truck.

“I’m like, ‘He hit up several more houses,’” Smith said.

Smith says a neighbor shared a similar video last week. In that neighbor’s surveillance footage, the suspect appears to be different. However, he seems to get into the passenger side of the same U-Haul pickup truck. The second suspected porch pirate is also seen sitting in the passenger seat during the package theft at Smith’s home.

“I think it really was a crime tactic,” said Smith. “It looked like it was all planned. It looked like he had a partner in the vehicle, but they need to be careful. They are going to mess around and meet a family that’s home … and [that family] might not be nice about it.”

A U-Haul spokesperson said they were unable to get a license plate or ID number from the surveillance footage, so the company couldn’t determine who rented or stole the U-Haul.

Jeff Lockridge, the media relations manager for U-Haul International, released the following statement:

“Customers utilizing our equipment are expected adhere to all local, state and federal laws. Any violation of these laws is a violation of the customer contract and our policies. U-Haul employs a robust investigations unit that works closely with law enforcement to see that individuals engaged in criminal activity involving our equipment are captured and prosecuted.”

The San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) says it is investigating the incident. If you recognize the suspects, call police at 210-207-8326. 

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