(WKBN) — With Cyber Monday only days away, many people are ordering gifts online for the holidays. This also means it’s the perfect time for porch pirates to steal packages.
A recent study found nearly 60% of Americans receive one package a week in 2020. The same study found 43% of respondents reported having a package stolen, and over half of them had it happen again.
“We discuss it every year, of course, around this time going into the holidays about how to handle packages coming in,” says Malik Mostella with the Youngstown Police Community Liaison.
Mostella says it’s important to educate people about porch pirates.
“You don’t want people being in possible danger when they think a burglar thinks they’re walking up on an empty house to grab the package,” Mostella says. “If somebody opens that door, you don’t know where it’s going to go next.”
It’s not just packages that porch pirates look for, either. Windows can offer a view of what’s lying around inside a home as well, according to Mostella.
Mostella suggests instructing your delivery driver to drop packages behind a pillar on your porch if you have one. He also says to keep your windows and blinds shut so burglars can’t see into your home. Doorbells with video cameras can also come in handy when catching burglars.
“They’re deterrents. When people notice you have those things, they tend to stay away,” Mostella says. “If they do come up on your porch and take those things, you actually have footage of the actual crime taking place.”
Getting rid of packages is just as important, as they can make your home a target for porch pirates after the holidays. It’s a good idea to cut up packages before throwing them out.
“Don’t just sit those boxes out on the street to be thrown away with the trash, because you’re telling everybody driving by what’s inside your house that’s brand-new,” says Mostella.