As online holiday shopping reaches new heights, porch pirate concerns grow

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- As many say, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but for some it can be not so wonderful when porch pirates intercept your presents.

If you ordered gifts online this year during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you’ll want to be alert at your doorstep.

Ashley O’Chap with the South Bend Police Department says the threat happens every season but is heightened during the holidays.
“Porch pirates are something that we’re concerned about all year round no matter if it’s spring or summer or winter, but it really does start to step up as we enter the holiday season,” said O’Chap. “That’s really because A- the people who may be committing these crimes may be trying to get stuff for themselves for the holidays and the other reason is that there are more packages being delivered.”

In 2021, Americans spent more than 200 billion dollars online from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. This year, experts predict even more spending with the highest estimate since they started tracking shopping numbers.The increased number of boxes on doorsteps makes for more opportunities for porch pirates to snag some loot.

It can happen to anyone. You get a great deal on something you’ve had your eye on, but before you get to your package, it’s gone.
So how can you prevent this from happening to you?

When ordering, look for an option to deliver to your workplace or at a time when you’ll be home, sign up for delivery notifications and use pickup lockers.

As you await the package, check with your neighbor to possibly pick up big ticket items or keep an eye on your package. It’s also recommended to leave your lights on when expecting and invest in a porch camera, if something were to happen, you have evidence.
If you believe you are a victim of porch pirating, check with the carrier to make sure the package was delivered.

Then check all your doors and check with your household--if it was stolen, contact your local police department to file a report and provide as much detail of the contents.

Be on the lookout for suspicious, slow moving and unfamiliar vehicles in your neighborhood. It’s recommended to make a report, if there is a trend of threats in the area, they can use this in investigations.

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