Police offer tips to ward against 'porch pirates'


PRINCE WILLIAM Co., Va. (WSET) - Police say they've seen an increase in "porch pirates," those who steals packages from doorsteps or porches.

They say the thieves sometimes follow delivery trucks, and watch for prime targets.

They say the porch pirates tend to strike during typical business hours, when many people are away from home.

To help warn against these porch pirates, police offer these tips:

  • Have your packages delivered to a location where someone can receive them in-person. A neighbor or relative who is usually home, for example, or your workplace if your employer allows it.
  • Encourage your neighbors to watch for deliveries and agree to secure each other’s packages. This includes being watchful for any stranger who is going onto porches for no apparent reason, or following delivery trucks.
  • Ask the shipper to hold your package at their facility. Most offer this service.
  • Track deliveries online. Many companies offer a text notification to your cell phone when a package has been delivered.
  • Request a signature conformation of delivery.
  • Insure valuable items.
  • Provide delivery instructions. If packages will be left while you are not home, try to have them left out of sight from the street.
  • Consider installing a video doorbell. Many cameras include features, such as high-definition resolution and saved images, which can help law enforcement should an incident occur. This can be especially helpful where packages are routinely delivered to people’s homes and left unattended on the front stoop.
  • If your package has been stolen report the theft to the Police.

Officials say you should report any suspicious activity to police.

To help them get a thorough report going, police say it is important to give as much information as possible that describes the potential suspects, their vehicles, and direction of travel.

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