Steering Clear of Porch Pirates: How to Keep Your Packages Safe
Nearly a third of Americans have a package stolen right off their porch
FARGO, N.D. — This holiday season, millions of boxes are set to be dropped off on front porches across the country.
With porch pirates lurking around the corner, reports of missing packages are especially high this time of year.
“It’s something that we hear about, especially once online shopping ramped up over the course of the last 5–10 years so the unfortunate of it is the convenience factor; it’s far more convenient to have a package delivered to your house. A lot of times people think that ‘not me, it won’t happen to me, I live in a nice area,” said Sgt. Tim Briggeman of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.
Not all missing packages are stolen. Fargo Postmaster Greg Johnson says his department receives a few calls a day about missing deliveries.
“In Fargo right now we’re probably delivering 12,000 packages or more a day. I don’t think that’s a lot, but do we get some calls? Yes. And sometimes, maybe it was misdelivered, but our carriers who have been on these routes and some of them for years have a very good idea of where they can and can’t leave parcels,” Johnson said.
With hundreds of millions of packages set to be delivered this year, there are several things police officers say you should do to keep your parcels safe.
“If there’s an opportunity to pick it up at the store, pick it up at the store. If you know you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, until later that evening or possibly until the next day, you should be speaking with neighbors and some family members if there’s an opportunity for them to stop by and grab it, so hopefully people adhere to some of these measures and not fall victim,” said Sgt. Briggeman.
Even if you see someone lurking around porches in your neighborhood, the Sgt. Briggeman has some simple advice.
“See something, say something. It’s not a nuisance if you call us and say ‘hey, this vehicle seems out of place’ and have the Cass County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency in the metro involved, because if it is that opportunity where we can catch somebody and hold these people accountable, that’s obviously what we’re there for,” Sgt. Briggeman said.
The United States Postal Service also recommends holding mail at the post office or delivering to a workplace if you are worried about your packages being stolen.