Queens homeowner armed with bat puts out fake package to nab porch pirate

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, April 4, 2024
NYC homeowner armed with bat puts out fake package to nab porch pirate
Janice Yu has details on the package thefts in a Queens neighborhood.

QUEENS, New York (WABC) -- A New Yorker fed up with porch pirates targeting him and his neighbors decided to take matters into his own hands in what must be the most "New York" way possible.

Carlos Mejia of Queens got creative after falling victim to a string of package snatchings. He says he and his wife have been victims of porch pirates dozens of times.

"My wife ordered a jacket that was $1,500 and they took it," Mejia said.

Just last Wednesday, his camera caught a man stealing a package with sneakers off their porch.

In attempt to catch the thief, Mejia put out a decoy package, filled with old French fries, used puppy training pads and dog feces, and armed himself with a baseball bat.

Sure enough, he got a nibble and reeled himself in a suspected petit larcenist. All of it was caught on camera, a video that has since gone viral.

Mejia came out with a bat in hand.

"I wasn't thinking at the moment," Mejia said. "It was just anger. I wanted to hurt him. But I know that if I had, I would have been in trouble."

So, Mejia held the snatcher there by himself until the police arrived.

It wasn't the same man who stole the sneakers, but it was 36-year-old Victor Stazzone.

At one point, video shows Stazzone trying to get away, but he was ultimately arrested for stealing and trespassing.

Mejia handled the situation about as well as anyone could, but authorities have always cautioned civilians from engaging a suspected criminal.

Thankfully, the suspect wasn't armed, and no one was hurt.

There is no word on what charges, if any, the suspected porch pirate might be facing.

Mejia say he hopes the video is enough to make people think twice before swiping packages.

"Cause today it was me with a bat. That somebody else could pull out a shotgun and not be as nice as I was, you know? And losing your life for $200. It's not what you want," Mejia said.

The New York City Department of Transportation says 90,000 packages are lost or stolen in the city every single day.

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