ELK GROVE -- With the rise of online shopping, we've seen a huge spike in criminals swiping packages from people's doorsteps. One state lawmaker wants to create stiffer penalties for such people.
It’s a growing problem and can be dangerous for some, so cracking down on porch pirates in California is especially supported by one Elk Grove man who says a suspected package thief pulled a knife on him last week.
Harry Khangura was visiting his sister when he spotted something unusual.
"I saw a gentleman holding these three packages with a black hoodie on," he explained.
Porch pirates were in the act and Khangura wasn’t about to let them get away.
"I just put my foot to the throttle and started following them," he said.
A retired police officer from the Bay Area, Khangura says he was on the phone with Elk Grove Police dispatch as he chased three suspects through residential streets.
Things escalated from there. Police say the suspect, Brian Marshall pulled out a knife.
"My life is going to be in danger," Khangura thought before his training kicked in.
"I drew my concealed carry firearm and ordered them to the ground. Old habits die hard so I screamed 'police' just because it’s what I’m used to screaming in that kind of a situation," he said.
Eventually officers showed up and arrested Marshall.
"I think it’s a rising problem across the united states,” Officer Jason Jimenez with the Elk Grove Police Department said.
Elk Grove police are trying to concentrate their efforts on porch pirates. The department launched a bait package program last year.
"We put some items in there as well as a tracking device and once the item is taken we get notified and we start to find it," Jimenez explained.
A new bill, however, proposes a different way to deter package thieves; AB 1210 calls for porch pirates to be prosecuted more like burglary suspects and possibly face jail time.
"I think that’s a fantastic step in the right direction," Khangura stated.
Remember, Khangura has police training, it’s not a good idea to put yourself in a dangerous situation, always call the police.
The packages were returned to their owner thanks to officers and retired officers alike.