Businesses fighting porch pirates by being free safe havens for mail

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- People enjoy their coffee in a variety of ways, but few enjoy a cup of joe with a package on the side. Coal Yard Coffee in Irvington is offering to be a safe haven for mail this holiday season, and it appears they are not alone.

Owner Michelle Roberts became sick of seeing her social media accounts flooded with videos of her neighbor's packages being stolen, so she decided to allow people to ship to her coffee shop safely, and for free.

“I think it's the least I can do since the community has supported us for the last six years,” Roberts said, “They’ve held us over in some really skimpy times when the trail was getting done, and the road, and they walked in. We are a neighborhood place. We are Irvington’s other living room."

The packages are kept in a secure location, and the store is open until 8 pm for pickup. For businesses willing to help out like this, it also means an added risk for burglars, although Roberts isn't worried.

“We have only had one attempt in the last six years, and they didn’t get anything cause we are armed the hilt,” said Roberts with a laugh.

In order to pick up a package, the owner must have an ID. Coal yard will also sign for any specialty packages that require a signature.

“If it prevents anyone else from getting their package stolen that's great,” said Rita who asked to have her last name remain hidden.

For extra cash, Rita sells catalog products in her free time. Her client's packages were recently swiped from outside her east side home.

“I saw a guy grab my package on my porch, pick it up like it was his,” Rita said.

Her camera caught the thief, but it did not deter him, however, Rita hopes the boxes of makeup he stole will.

"I hope it looks good on him, cause he looked ugly yesterday," joked Rita.

She is having her packages sent to Al's Pub & Pizza on the near east side. The owners agreed to help her out during the holiday season, much like Coal Yard.

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