Polk County 'porch pirate' arrested, facing 31 charges

Posted at 10:11 AM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 10:23:02-05

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says they have arrested a 'porch pirate' that was caught on camera stealing packages off of a Lakeland front porch earlier this month. 

Brandi Sumner, 43, was booked into the Polk county Jail on Wednesday and she faces 31 charges, including theft. 

RELATED | 'Porch Pirate' caught on camera in Lakeland

Sumner was identified by police in the video and on December 14, at approximately 2 p.m., deputies learned that she was going to be in the area of the MidFlorida Federal Credit Union on Highway 98 in Lakeland. Polk deputies located Sumner and attempted to conduct a traffic stop as she was driving in a blue 2005  Pontiac van with Pennsylvania plates. Sumner refused to pull over and sped up to get away from the deputies. A pursuit was started as Sumner traveled northbound on Highway 98. She attempted to turn east on Wilder Road but crashed into a fence. She tried to hit the patrol cars to get away. The pursuit continued eastbound on Wilder Road. The pursuit was cancelled after Sumner sped through a school zone. The car was later located, abandoned and the suspect was arrested just north of the vehicle. 

When deputies searched Sumner, they found methamphetamine in her possession. She also had 25 oxycodone pills which she did not have a prescription for. Deputies also found that she had a revoked Florida driver's license and she was a habitual traffic offender. She was on probation for illegal possession of a credit card/debit card. 

She is being held at the Polk county jail. 

"Porch Pirates," as package thieves are sometimes called, are known to be more active during the holiday season when deliveries are more common.

Law enforcement experts encourage people to make sure you are home if you know you are having something expensive delivered to your house. If you can't make those arrangements, you're encouraged to have packages sent to your workplace, or arrange for the package to be sent to someone else who is available to receive instead.