With Cyber Monday and Black Friday weekend headed to a close, many people are sure to be expecting packages ahead of the holidays.
However, police are warning people about porch piracy and the dangers that come with an unwatched package delivered to your front porch.
Porch pirates have increased in numbers over the last several years, stealing packages right from the front porches of homes and oftentimes in broad daylight.
Online deliveries have become a dominant way to shop in the digital age, but the expansion of e-commerce opened the doors to some unexpected consequences. Millcreek Police said that package theft is a big problem this time of year.
“A lot of times, it’s during the day when people aren’t home. They have packages that are delivered, and they’re not able to get to them quick in time before someone sees them and inevitably takes them off the front porch,” said Patrolman Benjamin Steiner, Millcreek Township Police.
Police added that if you won’t be home, make other plans for your package delivery.
Whether it’s UPS, FedEx or any delivery service, you can request to pick up your package on-site or even utilize delivery lockers and self-serving kiosks where you can show up at a later time to pick up your items.
Also, increased home surveillance in the form of Ring doorbells has helped police identify culprits.
“It’s a big help having the video. Obviously, it helps us to identify the individuals. We can seek help from other residents or other people in the area that might be able to recognize the people that are stealing from some of our residents. It also helps with the prosecution later on,” Steiner added.
If you’re worried about the safety of packages, you can leave specific instructions with your delivery as to where around your home you would like the package placed. You can also change the delivery to your workplace to simplify the process.
One person we spoke with said that they’ve experienced porch piracy themselves.
“I found out who it was, and Amazon was able to reimburse me, but ever since then, I try to have my packages delivered elsewhere just because I’m nervous about it. Both of my neighbors have cameras. I have cameras now, but still, they look right at the cameras, and they just go for it anyways,” said Graysen Depaul, theft victim.
Millcreek Police said to call or leave a tip with the department if you see any suspicious activity throughout the season.