Al Diaz, of Rialto, California, watched packages his father had ordered torn apart minutes after they were delivered. That grin of a porch hacker drove away with over $1,000 in gifts in seconds. A pair of pajamas he bought for his dog and himself, and three Movado watches, said to be worth $1,000 in total, were blatantly stolen from his porch.
Holiday shopping has never been easier thanks to online shopping and delivery services.
Instead of dealing with the hustle and bustle of shopping malls and big stores, people can now do all their holiday shopping from the comfort of their homes with a single click.
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Unfortunately, gifts don’t always reach their intended recipients, as packages continue to mysteriously disappear from door sills and patios across the country.
No, it’s not the evil Grinch trying to steal Christmas, but what’s more commonly known as “porch pirates”.
Nearly 290 million packages were stolen from patios in 2021.
According to a recent study by research firm Safewise, 260 million packages worth an estimated $19.5 billion collectively have been stolen from porches across the country in the last 12 months.
This is a statistic that will undoubtedly grow as the holiday season approaches.
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armed and dangerous
Things got even scarier Antioch, Tennesseewhere three porch hackers were seen stealing packages delivered after a FedEx delivery truck.
Moreover, these men were seen carrying loaded guns.
Fortunately, three culprits were caught, arrested and charged after the black Dodge Charger they were using was reported.
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The police are on the lookout.
With reports of stolen packages continuing to mount, local authorities are doing their best to keep an eye out for porch hackers.
police department Van Alstyne, Texas It even found a surefire way to ensure packages reach their intended recipients this holiday season.
By allowing residents to deliver their packages to the police station.
Because the station is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Van Alstyne residents are allowed to come anytime to pick up their gifts, they only need to show a valid ID.
However, if your local police department doesn’t offer this service or you don’t want to go to the police station to pick up your gifts, fear not.
As previously reported in a story on CyberGuy.com, there are 8 simple methods to avoid falling victim to local porch hackers.
Best ways to avoid porch pirate package theft
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Invest in a video doorbell
Installing a video doorbell like WYZE can potentially deter a porch hacker from chasing you.
Even if that doesn’t deter them from stealing, you’ll still get a warning whether someone rings the doorbell or not, that someone has approached your front porch door and caught them red-handed with their faces fully visible.
You can even go a step further and install cameras in the trees around your driveway, possibly getting a clear view of a license plate. While this won’t guarantee that you’ll get your stolen goods back, it will greatly help your local police find the culprits.
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Choose a Delivery Date
Most online retailers allow you to schedule a delivery date, with a day the package will arrive and a rough time wind. This allows you to be ready and waiting for his arrival and securely store your gifts behind locked doors.
Amazon, UPS, and FedEx can also alert you if you’ve received a delivery.
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Know Your Delivery Drivers
The next time you see the postman come to your house, introduce yourself and perhaps ask if he can put your packages in a less conspicuous place than the front porch.
Porch hackers snatch packages from the front porches, where they easily snatch them and escape even more easily. Placing your packages at the backdoor or elsewhere will keep them more secure.
In certain regions, Amazon even offers a service known as Amazon Key, where Amazon delivery drivers can drop your packages safely into your garage when a smart garage controller like myQ is purchased.
For peace of mind, drivers are only allowed access to your garage for one-time delivery.
Another way to make sure your packages are waiting for you safely when you get home is to invest in secure delivery boxes like The Elephantrunk Parcel Drop.
Deliveries are placed at the top of the box, then lowered into a locked room accessible only by the owner.
Shock-absorbing cushions and a water-resistant coating ensure your belongings are protected from thieves and the like.
Of course, if you don’t want to invest in a ziplock box of your own and don’t mind traveling, you can always have your packages delivered to an Amazon locker.
When your package arrives, you will receive a notification and delivery.
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Be on the lookout for pirates in the neighborhood
By signing up with a neighborhood tracking app like Neighborhoods or Nextdoor, you can track stolen packages in your neighborhood; where users also post pictures of porch hackers they may have caught on their doorbell cameras.
One thing to keep in mind if you see a porch hacker stealing a package, try to avoid “being a hero”.
While we want to take action and stop them, no one knows how dangerous these porch hackers can be, so it’s best to call the police or notify another neighbor before you take matters into your own hands.
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