Theft prevention: Local police share tips on how to guard packages against porch pirates

Local News

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Lowcountry law enforcement officers say that property crimes, like delivery package thefts, spike around the holidays.

“This is something that happens across the nation,” said PFC Paiam Etminan of the North Charleston Police Department. “Criminals have to do their Christmas shopping, too.”

Officer Etminan said that there is a list of steps people should take to prevent their holiday gifts from being stolen.

“Taking that extra step to safeguard your packages as they are coming will save you a lot of time and frustration at the end of the day,” said Officer Etminan.

  • Know what day and time your package is going to arrive so you can take it inside right away.
  • If you are not home when the package arrives then ask a neighbor to take it in for you.
  • Buy delivery insurance from the company you are buying from so you do not pay the price for a stolen package.
  • Have the package delivered to a locker at your home or at another location.
  • Install security cameras at your front door and around your property.

“Even buy your own locker. Those are available on Amazon. You can order lockers that sit in front of your door and are fastened to your concrete slab. The delivery drivers can leave the packages in the locker for you that way they’re not stolen,” said Officer Etminan.

With the personal lockers, there are more steps you can take for increased security.

“If you have a digital lock you can give a one-time passcode to the delivery drivers. They can actually put the package in your door. When they close the door the lock code is reset,” said Officer Etminan.

He says that if you are a victim of a suspected theft the first thing you should do is to file a police report.

“We see it all too often where residents will have their packages stolen and they will not call the police, they will not file a report, but they’ll post to social media,” said Officer Etminan. “If there is no report filed the police don’t know it occurred and we can’t allocate resources to those areas where the spike is happening.”

He says while posting security camera footage of porch pirates to social media websites is good to keep your community safe, the police do not monitor social media enough to see every post.

“Part of crime prevention is communicating with your neighbors,” said Officer Etminan. “Before you post to social media make sure you’re calling law enforcement first.”

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