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Buffalo family has packages stolen from porch – and they’re not alone. Here’s some advice to protect your packages!

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The holiday shopping season is in full swing. And whether you are done checking items off your list or still have a lot more to do, chances are some of your shopping is happening online. UPS expects to ship 750 million packages this holiday. But as those boxes of joy begin to arrive at your front door, so-called “Porch Pirates” are sailing in, pillaging your holiday treasure.
Yes, “Porch Pirates” is the technical term for the thieves who follow behind delivery trucks, waiting for the best holiday shipments. When they think no one is looking, they grab their haul and ruin your day.
According to InsuranceQuotes.com, nearly 26 million Americans have their holiday deliveries swiped from their doorstep. That’s up from 23.5 million in 2015. And these crimes aren’t limited to the holiday shopping season. They happen all year round. But, they’re more prevalent in November and December because of the spike in online sales.
You may be thinking, this could never happen in my community. But it can and does. Recently, my sister and brother-in-law fell victim in their relatively quiet Buffalo neighborhood. They’ve lived in their home for more than 10-years… this was not the first time they’d ordered things online.
In their case, the criminal even opened some of the boxes in broad daylight, leaving behind what they didn’t want. And while they were able to file claims with UPS, Amazon and the independent retailer sending them goods, all that was a time suck. And who’s to say it won’t happen again?
There are some simple ways to keep your shipments safe.
– Schedule a delivery time. If this is an option with the sender, it’s a great way to know when your items will arrive. This way, you can be sure you’re home when the doorbell rings.
– Request a signature upon delivery. Your holiday items won’t be left out in the open if no one is there to sign for the shipment.
– Ask a neighbor to be on the lookout. Or better yet, have them accept the delivery. Often times, if you leave a note for the driver, they’ll bring your items across the street to Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ house.
– Change your delivery address. Why do all those presents need to show up at your home in the first place? If you have your items delivered to the office, not only will someone be there to accept them… there won’t be any questions form your little ones, wondering what’s in all the boxes.
– What about an alternative secure location? Many delivery companies and retailers will hold your items until you can pick them up.
Keeping your items secure before they’re unwrapped is one thing… keeping them safe inside your home, is another. Many law enforcement agencies see a rise in the number of break-ins and burglaries in the weeks following Christmas. And the garbage you’re leaving at the side of the road could increase your risk. Experts recommend breaking down your boxes and removing all address labels. This prevents criminals from knowing what you have in your home and takes the target off your front door.

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Comments (1)

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    Jimmy P

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    Excellent advice. Let’s defend ourselves against those dastardly porch pirates!

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