How to Foil Porch Pirates and Keep Your Christmas Gifts This Year
Security and doorbell cameras are helpful, but can't guarantee your gifts won't be hijacked. KDPS has 7 tips to make sure your presents make it under the tree.
As online shopping has become easier and more convenient, there has also been a steep rise in the theft of deliveries. Over the past two years, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety has experienced an increase in calls during the holiday season. With the exponential growth of online shopping, thousands of packages are delivered to homes throughout the season. Most packages are left unattended for several hours, leaving them vulnerable to being stolen. KDPS has seven tips to make sure your gifts get delivered to those who are on the "nice" list.
What is a porch pirate?
Dictionary.com defines a porch pirate as "a thief who steals packages delivered to front doorsteps or porches. They especially strike during the holiday season, when people order many gifts online for home delivery."
When did porch piracy become such a big problem?
The usage of the phrase "porch pirates" dates back to the early 2010s, but not everyone agrees with it. This guy wrote 398 words on why we shouldn't use that term for criminals who don't commit their crimes at sea. One has to imagine some form of porch piracy has been going on forever. Old Testament porch pirates got the death penalty.
Security company ADT reports "a steep rise in the number of porch pirate incidents in 2020 during the pandemic. This is partially due to the fact that there was a major increase in online shopping as people were avoiding going to public places when possible."
How can I stop porch pirates?
A doorbell or security camera is a good tool, but may not be enough of a deterrant. Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety offers these ideas that may be more practical and don't cost as much
- Sign up for delivery alerts/pick up packages immediately
- Request packages be signed for
- Request packages be delivered to neighbors or friends that will be home
- If allowed, have packages delivered to work
- Instruct the delivery company to place the package somewhere out of open view (behind a plant, seating, false wall, etc.)
- Utilize package delivery lockboxes that are approved by USPS and other delivery companies
- Utilize ship to store options
Of course, you can always support local businesses and buy your gifts here in town- just be sure to lock your car.