Police warn of thieves following couriers after Pāpāmoa bus…


Thieves who steal deliveries from doorsteps have been dubbed ‘porch pirates’. Photo / Getty

Police are warning that “opportunity thieves” are following courier drivers after a beauty business owner had $3000 of stock stolen from her doorstep shortly after delivery.

Pāpāmoa-based founder of Peachy Lip Co Niki Creasy says she is also out $2000 in freight costs and $2500 for security measures she took after the theft and may face further losses.

She says she believes the thief may have been following the delivery van, while the courier company says none of its franchisees have reported this happening.

Creasy launched her small business selling “affordable and easy to use” cruelty-free cosmetic beauty products in April last year.


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She said the stolen box contained 450 makeup beauty products for the business, including 150 light contour face sticks, 150 medium contour face sticks and 150 lip liners in the colour “nudist”.

The parcel was delivered by courier company Aramax New Zealand on August 15. Creasy said she had planned the delivery to arrive on a day she was working from home to avoid theft.

Creasy said she felt “gross” knowing she was in her living room when the thief hit.

“I was home, imagine if I had seen it and opened the door on this person.”


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Creasy said she had a text confirming delivery from Aramax at 3.58pm but noticed the package was not on her front porch when she left home to pick up her son from daycare at about 4.20pm.

Initially, she thought the text may have just been sent early but when the package had still not arrived the next morning, she contacted Aramex.

It sent photographic proof of it being delivered to the doorstep and she realised the package must have been stolen.

Creasy said the theft meant it would be six to eight weeks before she could restock and if she sold out before then it may cause a further financial loss to the business.

Peachy Lip Co co-founder Niki Creasy with a range of her products.
Peachy Lip Co co-founder Niki Creasy with a range of her products.

She had not claimed insurance because the excess was too high, compared to the loss, to be worthwhile.

Security cameras and an alarm system have been installed on her property but she said future stock deliveries would be made to a secure location.

Aramex New Zealand chief executive Mark Little said it was disappointing to hear of the theft and “certainly distressing” for the business owner involved. The franchisee would provide information to the police as needed.

“In this instance, our courier franchisee followed all protocols and delivery instructions. It is frustrating to hear that someone has brazenly taken the parcels from the recipient’s doorstep once the courier had departed.’’

The franchisee and Tauranga team had done their best to help the recipient, however, “theft is a matter for the police”.

He said the business had not seen any noticeable rise in this kind of opportunistic theft in the Bay of Plenty region or nationwide, and none of its franchisees had reported “any instances of being followed in their van”.


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“We hope the business owner is able to work successfully with the police to resolve this matter, and Aramex New Zealand will provide any further information they may require to do so.”

Parcel thieves have been dubbed ‘porch pirates’ overseas. A 2021 survey of 1501 Kiwi adults found one in eight had a parcel stolen in the last 12 months.

A police spokesperson said parcels left on front doorsteps or in apartment building common areas were an “easy target” for thieves, who would take any opportunity to steal.

“Another issue is opportunity thieves following courier drivers and keeping an eye on deliveries left on doorsteps.”

The spokesperson said a report of a package stolen from a doorstep in Pāpāmoa was received on August 15 but a forensic examination did not turn up any leads.

Police said to report any suspicious activity, such as people loitering around vehicles or looking into car windows, immediately by calling 111.


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Six tips to beat ‘porch pirates’

  • Get packages delivered to a place where someone will be home to receive them or to a work address.
  • If you do have deliveries made to your home, make sure you’re going to be home to sign for them or have a secure location where they can be left.
  • Make sure your delivery instructions are clear and ask for packages not to be placed at your front door, or on top of an apartment building post box.
  • If you’re not going to be home when the parcel is delivered, arrange to collect your parcel from the depot, or have the parcel redirected to the address of someone you trust.
  • Be smart when disposing of packaging, so passers-by can’t see if you’ve been buying expensive items.
  • Report any suspicious behaviour to the police. For example, if you see a car following a courier van or an unexpected visitor knocks on your door asking for someone you don’t know.

Michaela Pointon is an NZME reporter based in the Bay of Plenty and was formerly a feature writer.

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