How to prevent porch pirates getting your gifts this holiday season

With the holidays approaching, it’s a wonderful time of year for gathering in good cheer with friends and family. It’s also a perfect time for porch pirates to swipe packages meant for loved ones off people’s doorsteps.

With the likelihood that many people are expecting packages as the holidays approach, there are steps people can follow to avoid gifts coming in the mail from falling into the wrong hands.

“We will be ordering stuff for holiday gifts, so we will have quite a few things being dropped off,” Joann Mailhott said.

Mailhott said she expects even more deliveries than the 20 packages she gets every month, and she wants to ensure each and every item that arrives to her home ends up inside it.

“If I realize it’s the UPS or the mail carrier, then, I know I am good,” Mailhott said, “And I know I have to get out there and retrieve my package.”

Statistically, 26 million Americans have fallen victim in their lifetime.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has a few recommendations:

  • Install a lock box that’s bolted to concrete
  • Send deliveries to your workplace
  • Require a signature on packages
  • Deter porch pirates with home surveillance
  • Post sign that indicates your home as under active surveillance

“These days, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Roberto Loiacono in Harbor Heights. “So I think security cameras are a good deterrent and detection.”

Smart home cameras seem to be a trend. Researchers predict the number of homeowners installing these types of systems will triple by 2023.

A homeowner’s best bet is to schedule packages to be delivered when they are home. And it’s recommended that neighbors help neighbors.

If someone steals a package from a porch or suspicious activity is witnessed, it’s recommended to contact local law enforcement and report it.

“Just look out for one another always,” Mailhott said. “That is what we are here to do.”

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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