Porch pirates — people who steal packages off porches — could be a problem for online shoppers this holiday season, but some police departments in the U.S. have found a way to catch the thieves.
The Denver Police Department in Colorado earlier this month posted a compilation of surveillance videos of people taking packages off porches.
With many expecting to get packages shipped during the holiday season, have “porch pirates” hit the metro-east?
Not yet, according to police.
Police said they’ve had a few cases in the past, but not too recently.
“We’ve had it happen before, but it’s been quite a while ago, at least within the last couple of years,” said Officer Tim Mueller with the Fairview Heights Police Department.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office also said it hasn’t seen thefts of that nature in recent years.
However, police in Springfield said earlier this year that surveillance cameras capable of taking high-quality images and social media were some of the best tools used to help catch a 53-year-old woman who was caught on video taking some boxes off a man’s porch.
Video aided police locally in Belleville when a veteran’s mums went missing temporarily from his porch.
Surveillance images also helped Town and Country police in October when a resident reported a stolen package from a home off Clayton Road, according to KTVI.
Retired Anaheim Police Department Capt. Joe Vargas offers these tips for avoiding porch pirates:
▪ Have the package delivered to your workplace if it is allowed or to a trusted neighbor or friend who is more likely to be home.
▪ Choose a shipping option that requires you to sign for delivery or track the delivery status online so you can try to be home when the package arrives. Some retailers or shipping companies even offer text messages that alert you when items have been delivered
▪ Ask the shipping company to hold your package for customer pickup at their local facility; some offer locker pickup locations.
▪ If you do not receive your shipment on time, track your package to confirm delivery.
▪ If the item was delivered and you did not receive it, report the theft or loss to the original company and the shipping company.
▪ If you suspect your package has been stolen, see if any neighbors have security footage of the area.
▪ If you think your package was stolen, call police.