If a porch pirate hits your home, call 311, APD says

Crime

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s peak porch-pirate season – and thieves are hitting Austin doorsteps.

“We were alerted to motion at our front door and we looked pretty quickly and actually saw the guy stealing our packages,” said Jerry Naiser, an Austin businessman.

As of Oct. 1, theft calls now go through 311 instead of 911. That means a patrol officer does not respond to the crime in person.

Naiser said that’s exactly what he did.

“They told me to go online and file a report there,” he said.

Those service requests can be made through iReportAustin.com or on the Austin 311 app.

According to APD “the victim calls 311, and they are given a ticket number. We call them back to make a report.”

Officers tell KXAN Naiser’s request for service was made on Nov. 15, and another APD employee called him back on Nov. 18. After not being able to get in touch with each other from that point forward, Naiser’s ticket was closed, according to police.

Naiser is now taking to social media to catch the suspect.

“Well I’m offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this guy,” he said.

Other crimes that now go through 311 include animal services, minor crashes that don’t require a tow truck, verbal disturbances and prostitution. The premise is that all non-ongoing non-violent crimes should be directed to 311 rather than 911.

If there is an immediate threat to public safety, you should call 911, and dispatch will send an officer.

According to information KXAN obtained through a public records request to the City of Austin, 88 calls that came into 311 were transferred to 911 between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13.

Brianna Hollis will have more on this story tonight on KXAN News at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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