Al Diaz of Rialto, California, saw the packages his father ordered get ripped off within minutes of being delivered. This grinch of a porch pirate walked away with over $1,000 in gifts in seconds. A pair of pajamas he had bought for his and his dog, as well as three Movado watches, said to have a combined value of $1,000, were stolen from his front porch in plain sight.
Thanks to online shopping and delivery services, Christmas shopping has never been easier.
Instead of dealing with the hustle and bustle of shopping malls and department stores, people can now do all their Christmas shopping with just one click from the comfort of their homes.
Unfortunately, gifts don’t always make it to their intended recipients, as across the country, packages continue to mysteriously disappear from doorsteps and yards.
No, it’s not the evil Grinch trying to steal Christmas, but what are known as “porch pirates”.
Nearly 290 million packages were stolen from front porches in 2021.
According to a recent study by the research company Safely260 million packages, with an estimated collective value of $19.5 billion, have already been stolen from front porches across the country in the last 12 months.
This is a statistic that will no doubt grow as the holiday season approaches.
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armed and dangerous
Things got even scarier in Antioch, Tennesseewhere three porch pirates were seen following a FedEx delivery truck and stealing the packages being delivered.
Additionally, these men were seen carrying loaded weapons.
Fortunately, after the black Dodge Charger they were driving was reported, the three culprits were caught, arrested and charged.
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The police are on the lookout.
With reports of stolen packages continuing to grow, local authorities are doing everything they can to keep an eye out for porch pirates.
the police department of VanAlstyne, Texas He even came up with a safe way to ensure packages reach their recipients this holiday season.
By allowing residents to receive their packages at the police station.
Since the station is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Van Alstyne residents can drop in at any time to pick up their gifts, they just need to show a valid form of identification.
However, if your local police department doesn’t offer this service, or if you’d rather not have to make the trip to the police station to pick up your gifts, fear not.
As previously reported in a story on CyberGuy.com, there are 8 simple methods to avoid becoming a victim of local porch hackers.
The Best Ways To Prevent Pirate Package Theft From The Porch
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Invest in a video intercom
Installation of a video intercom, such as WYZEcould potentially stop a porch pirate in his tracks.
Even if it doesn’t deter them from stealing, you’ll still get an alert that someone has approached your porch door, whether you ring the doorbell or not, catching them red-handed, face fully visible.
You could even go a step further and install cameras in the trees around your driveway, possibly getting a clear image of a license plate. While this won’t guarantee that you’ll get your stolen merchandise back, it will help your local police track down the culprits.
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Choose a delivery date
Most online retailers allow you to schedule a delivery date, giving you a day and a bit of time when your package will arrive. This allows you to be ready and waiting for your arrival and keep your gifts safely behind locked doors.
Amazon, UPS, and FedEx can also notify you if you have received a delivery.
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Know your delivery drivers
The next time you see your mailman arrive at your house, introduce yourself and perhaps ask if you can put your packages in a less conspicuous place than the front porch.
Porch pirates almost exclusively steal packages from front porches, where it’s easy for them to grab them and even easier to run away. Having your packages placed at the back door or another stealthier location will surely keep them more secure.
In select areas, Amazon even offers a service known as Amazon Key, where with the purchase of a smart garage controller like my QAmazon delivery people can safely drop off your packages in your garage.
Rest assured, drivers only have access to your garage for the one-time delivery.
Another way to ensure that your packages will be safely waiting for you when you get home is to invest in secure delivery boxes, such as Elephantrunk Parcel Delivery.
Deliveries are placed on top of the box, then lowered into a locked chamber accessible only by the owner.
Shock absorbing cushions and a water resistant coating ensure your items are safe from thieves and the elements alike.
Of course, if you’d rather not invest in a lockbox of your own and don’t mind making the trip, you can always send your packages to an Amazon locker.
Once your package has arrived, you will receive a notification and delivery.
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Be alert for pirates in the neighborhood.
By subscribing to a neighborhood watch app like neighbours either Next toyou can keep track of stolen packages in your neighborhood, where users also post photos of pirates on their porch that they might have caught on their doorbell cameras.
One thing to keep in mind if you see a porch pirate stealing a package, try to avoid “being the hero”.
As much as we want to spring into action and stop them, one never knows how dangerous these porch pirates can be, so better call the police or notify another neighbor before taking matters into your own hands.
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