MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – With the holiday season approaching, many people are ordering gifts with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Online shopping has a convenience factor but the Mt. Pleasant Police Department (MPPD) is warning people to be on the lookout for porch pirates.
Porch pirates are thieves who take packages from people’s front doorsteps.
According to a 2019 report from C+R Research, an estimated 36% of Americans have had a package stolen. Inspector Donald Calabrese with MPPD says it’s an issue nationwide.
This year, people are avoiding shopping in-perso because of the pandemic and online orders are expected to rise. With that comes the potential for a higher rate of porch piracy.
There are ways to prevent these thieves from getting their hands on your holiday goods.
“Schedule tracking, schedule pick up work with your neighbors so that if you’re not going to be home you can have a neighbor pick up your package and hang on to it for you. You can have packages delivered to the office,” said Inspector Calabrese.
You can install a security camera to act as a deterrent for potential thieves.
“Another thing that we’ve just recently noticed is lockboxes. They sell lockboxes you can put on your porch so the package can be locked in there and not taken out,” he said.
You can also have your package delivered to an Amazon hub or a P.O. box for extra protection.
If you fall victim to porch pirates, call your local police department to file a report.
“If a package gets stolen, we’re going to investigate it just like any other crime so definitely call us through the dispatch center,” said Inspector Calabrese.
After speaking with the police, contact the company you ordered from and check their policy on stolen goods. Some places will offer a refund or will send you a replacement item.