ONLINE HOLIDAY SHOPPING
Online holiday shopping is a boon for shoppers and merchants alike. Also benefiting from the online shopping trend are petty criminals known as “porch pirates.” Quick and stealthy, these crooks steal packages from porches and doorsteps across the country. And they’re especially busy this time of year. It doesn’t matter where you live; people in big cities, the suburbs and rural communities alike have become the target of these criminals. Some porch pirates are opportunistic. They see a package on a doorstep and grab it before walking away. Others are more cunning. They plan their thievery, waiting until people are at work or at school before striking. These crooks can hit an entire neighborhood before anyone realizes what has occurred.
Some porch pirates follow delivery trucks as they make their rounds. Once the truck is out of sight, they run in and scoop up the packages. The unsuspecting homeowner gets a text that their package has been delivered but when they check for it, it’s nowhere to be found.
PROTECT YOUR PACKAGES FROM PORCH PIRATES
While there is little you can do after your packages are stolen, you can take some steps to outwit the thieves. Doorbell cameras are a great deterrent. These cameras allow you to check on any activity on your porch through your smartphone. When the camera’s motion detector is triggered, the camera begins recording and sends you an alert. The cameras are also equipped with speakers which allow you to talk with the person on your porch. Law enforcement officials have noticed if thieves know they are being recorded on video, they will bolt before they steal your package. But if they do, police say video recordings can help to catch the thief. There are a variety of models of doorbell cameras – both hardwired and battery-operated – to fit your needs. Some can be integrated into your existing security system. A specialist from Delco Alarm Systems can help you choose which product is right for you.
Many merchants will give you the option of ordering online and picking up your package at a local brick and mortar store. There are also a number of services that use set pickup locations. FedEx and UPS will hold your package at a staffed, secure facility for you. Amazon has lockers in many locations. They also give you the option of having all of your packages delivered in one day of your choice. Other package services use various local merchants as pickup locations. Another option is to have your package delivered to your workplace or to a relative or neighbor you know will be home.
Don’t give porch pirates the opportunity to make you a victim this holiday season. Be proactive and protect your home, family and belongings from criminals. Easy and cost-effective solutions are available.
Also, don’t forget to be a good neighbor. If you see someone suspicious on your neighbor’s property, call 911 immediately.