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Porch pirates who targeted Pearland neighborhood in U-Haul, now targeting Friendswood

HOUSTON – A man and woman accused of roaming around neighborhoods in a U-Haul truck and stealing packages in Pearland are reportedly at it again, but this in Friendswood.

What happened

Colin Irwin was home with his 7-month-old daughter on Friday when he noticed a man on his porch around 2:30 p.m.

He had an old Amazon box sitting outside that he and his wife put old clothes in to donate, but it appeared a suspicious man thought it was a new package. 

“When I saw him, I was sitting on the couch and he was bent over and came up and then turned around and walked out and I thought he was dropping off a package,” said Irwin who said he knew he was not expecting mail. “I came out and looked right out the window and didn’t see any packages on here and realized he was already digging through the passenger side of my car’s glove box and my center console.” 

Irwin said the suspect, he described as a tall white male with a hat on, jeans and a plaid shirt, looked through the box for less than 10 seconds and then went to his car.

Irwin admits his car was unlocked because he had just come home with his baby. 

“Move or I’m going to run you over” 

Surveillance video captured the man on Irwin’s property and then the video shows Irwin walking outside to ask questions. 

“At that time I yelled at him, he took off running and ran to a U-Haul that was parked exactly across the street. There was a lady she was honking, I guess she was the getaway driver, I chased him to the other side of the passenger side, he got in before me.  At that time, I stood in front of the U-Haul, I had my hand on the hood and I told them, ‘I’m not leaving.’ At that time she told me, ‘Move or I’m going to run you over,’ At that time she floored the engine and she pretty much, moved me out of the way with the vehicle. I punched the window and ended up falling to the ground,” said Irwin. 

The father of three was able to get a good look at the suspects. 

“I had posted the video on Facebook and I had a couple of friends say the news just did a story on Amazon porch pirates. I went and looked up the news story and saw videos and sure enough, it was the same guy, I recognized him and even that he was wearing the same shirt in that video as he was the same day he tried taking my stuff,” Irwin said. “I saw another video where it was a woman taking a package coming from a U-Haul and same thing, it looked exactly like the woman, I connected the dots.” 

He contacted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office immediately. He said the U-Haul didn’t have a license plate on the front, but there were plates on the back and gave the number to authorities. 

“When I called the police, they said the plates were from a Freightliner, so they must be stolen plates,” Irwin said.   

Authorities also retrieved a print from the side of his car, but it’s unclear if it belonged to the suspect. Even though nothing was stolen, Irwin said he hopes they’re caught and he will file aggravated assault charges. 

“We all work hard for what we have and everything inside my house I bought for with my own money, I worked hard for. For people like this to come and reap the benefits of my hard work or anybody’s hard work, it’s not fair and these people really need to get caught,” Irwin said. 

This time went into someone's garage

German Villatoro works in the restaurant industry, but has a side job as a landscaper. 

On Sunday he was working on a project when he noticed some equipment missing. 

“My wife was making dinner and I asked, 'I don’t see the stuff that I need, do you know what happened? And she was like, ‘No I don’t know,” Villatoro said. 

His cousin lives across the street and they looked at surveillance video and what they saw was very similar to what others have seen in the area. 

“They parked their U-Haul rental truck right in the middle of the road and going back and forth to the next houses to see if anybody sees them. Then he came running, when he thought it was secure to go steal it, went inside the garage, stole two blowers and ran in the truck and run away.”

The video appeared to show the same man tied to the other thefts in the same U-Haul truck.   You couldn’t see who the driver was. 

Villatoro said they took $800 worth of equipment that he has to now go and buy again.

“It’s devastating because you have equipment that you work hard for, and we’re honest people, trying to make a living and support our families and somebody just comes and get stuff that doesn’t, it’s sad,” he said.