In the age of Amazon it is so much easier to do your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own home. With COVID-19 afoot it's a truly safer way to shop. But, online shopping has led to a new opportunity for porch pirates.

With big ticket items coming to your door, those looking to loot may be lingering around the corner waiting to snatch that new purchase up. The City of Utica Police Department is offering several tips on how you can avoid the hassle of having your packages stolen going into the holiday shopping season.

Already, we have seen local cases of package theft. Utica Police are currently looking for information on the identity of the man in the social media post below.

Many of their tips, to some, would seem like common sense. But, for those who believe in the spirit of the season, the reminder is probably a good idea.

The Department took to their Facebook page to offer a long list of things you can do as an online consumer to protect your little (or large) brown boxes. They offer up the following tips.

  • Request a signature on delivery.
  • Ship the package to a trusted neighbor or relative who will be home.
  • Have the packages delivered to your work – if allowed by the employer.
  • Track your deliveries on-line so you know when they’re slated to arrive and plan to be home upon delivery.
  • Opt for in-store or curb-side pickup wherever possible.
  • Install video cameras and post signage to indicate surveillance is in effect.
  • Request the package be left out of sight at a rear or side door.

Utica Police say,

If packages are stolen from your home, report the incident to your local police and the shipping company. If you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood contact the Utica Police Department at 315-735-3301.

One of the best inventions for combating this problem is the video doorbell. Not only is it a natural deterrent for thieves, it also will capture the culprit on camera! That makes the job of law enforcement a whole lot easier if they have to investigate a theft. Ring and others like it are easily installed and are well worth the investment.