Deputies say canvassers turn out to be porch pirates

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Christmas is right around the corner and there are grinches out there who want to ruin it. Porch pirates are lurking and some of them have been caught.

“For lowlifes running around taking people’s packages and no one knows in them. It could be the small difference that could change somebody’s year. We don’t know so for them to do it I think it’s terrible,” said Jeff Pagac.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office arrested two 19-year-olds Wednesday; Santina Walker and Cesar Guerrero.

Santina Walker (left), Cesar Guerrero (right)

Police say the two were porch pirating in several neighborhoods. One theft happened in the Chastain Place.

Pagac lives there. He said, “You wouldn’t think in a quiet neighborhood like this something like that would happen. The fact that it is and it’s going on, it’s a shame.”

Officers say during a traffic stop, several unopened packages were found in the truck of the car Walker was driving. Both Walker and Guerero were taken into custody.

The two later confessed to taking the packages while canvassing for senate candidates Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff over two days.

“I talked to this lady who told me about it. She said that they arrested two canvassers who were committing theft in this area. I’m shocked by it. I think it gives all of us a bad name,” said Warren Wimmer, a Republican canvasser.

Pagac added, “With people how they are nowadays, nothing surprises me. But you know, kind of that little thing of humanity. Every time you see something like this I think you lose a little piece of it.”

A joint statement from the Warnock and Ossoff campaigns reads, “These individuals are not associated with or paid by our campaigns and we strongly condemn this criminal activity.

The canvassers turned porch pirates were paid by BlackPAC, according to investigators. That’s the same political action committee that brought Grammy award-winning rapper Common to Augusta earlier this month to campaign with Mayor Hardie Davis for Ossoff and Warnock.

Many say having a smart doorbell can be beneficial while porch pirates but others are skeptical.

“Personally, I do not like the Ring doorbells because they are connected to Amazon which is a corporation I do not really trust. But I will say people should be careful and try to get your packages delivered in the garage if possible,” said Wimmer.

Both Walker and Guerrero are facing multiple theft by taking charges. Guerrero is also being charged with felony obstruction for allegedly punching a deputy several times before being taken into custody.