Porch pirates are a menace and they're most active around this time of year. Here's how you can stop them in their tracks.

How to Outwit Porch Pirates

The plague of porch pirates seemingly grows each year, with scofflaws running onto people's property and yanking packages that were left out in the open. These individuals will then rip open the package and either keep or sell the goods inside for a quick profit.

Kit L.
Kit L.

It's estimated 8 in 10 Americans have fallen victim to a porch pirate, with about 20% of Americans saying they lost over $1,000 to these nefarious individuals.

Some people have turned to pranking these criminals in an act of sweet revenge, like putting out fake packages that turn out to be glitter bombs or filled with cat turds.

But that takes time and energy, and chances are you're running short on both around this time of year. So, to ensure packages remain in your possession after they're delivered, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office is out with some helpful tips.

A Message from Sheriff Rob Maciol

After burning a hole in your wallet after loading up on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, packages are en route to your home - and thieves are counting on it. Porch Pirates are out in full force and scanning homes to see boxes left out in the open.

Alleged Porch Pirate 12/10/2021 Photo Courtesy: New York State Police
Alleged Porch Pirate 12/10/2021 Photo Courtesy: New York State Police

Sheriff Maciol says there are several ways you can outmaneuver these scumbags.

1. Always utilize package tracking to know when your package is out for delivery.
2.  Request a signature upon delivery whenever possible.
3. If you are not home to sign your package, check for services that allow you to automatically redirect your delivery to a trusted neighbor’s address.
4. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for your package.
5. Take advantage of technology by installing a video doorbell or security camera to deter or capture photos of a thief.
6. Invest in a porch lock box or mailbox sensor.
7. Look into Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and USPS offer lockers and post office boxes to keep your packages secure until you pick them up. Some of these services are free.
8. Customize Delivery Times - So you receive can your packages near a desired time.
9. Ship to the Store - If the retailer has the option, ship the package to the store, some retailers also offer contactless pickup.
10.  Leave Instructions for your carrier, and ask them to place the package in an area out of plain view.

A study from Vivnt says homes without a security system are 10 percent more likely to be targeted by porch pirates.Homes with security systems tend to have a gift recovery rate of 50 percent, while those without these systems have a 0 percent recovery rate.

Here's hoping these tips and stats will protect your home from these porch pirates - so you and your family can enjoy a lovely holiday with all the presents you've carefully gifted.

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Helpful Tips To Keep Packages Safe From Porch Pirates

In 2022, over 260 million packages were stolen by porch pirates. I knew the problem was bad but didn't realize how explosive this crime has gotten throughout the years.

Next time you order something, try these tips to help keep your packages safe from thieves like porch pirates.

Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio

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