Don’t fall victim of ‘porch pirate’ crime

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – It’s that time of year again when people are shopping online for the holidays and packages are piling up on doorsteps.

But you’re not the only one anticipating the arrival of those packages. ‘Porch pirates’ are sailing through neighborhoods across the country and delivery services are beefing up security during “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Kristy Anderson, USPS.

“It’s crazy busy,” said Kristy Anderson, of the US Postal Service about the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. “The US postal service expects to deliver and process almost 16 billion pieces of mail which will include letters, cards, packages. Of those, 900 million are packages. In Minnesota, 742 million cards, letter, and packages. ”

While having a security camera at your front doorstep may be key to catching a thief, it may not be enough of a deterrent to keep your packages safe, experts say the cure is prevention.

“You can do signature confirmation or registered mail so it requires someone to be home to sign for it,” said Anderson.  “You can go online, and with the tracking number, give delivery instructions. If you don’t want it right at your door and have a bush that can conceal it really well, you can say, ‘please deliver it behind a bush’ or different things like that.”

If you’re headed out of town, the postal service will hold your mail until you return. You can then either pick it up at a post office or have it delivered for free. Another option is to change the delivery address to your workplace. Fed-Ex, UPS, and other delivery services offer this as well.

“If you know you’re expecting a package, especially, you want to try and enlist your neighbors or anyone that you know, that can go and grab it.”

Many delivery services will send you email and texts with photos to update you where and when your package is.

Residents in rural areas have a higher chance of being victimized by a porch grinch. To combat that the Rochester Police Department is trying to find new methods to catch them such as leaving bait packages with GPS trackers inside.

Linda Ha

Linda Ha

Reporter | @LindaHaTV | lha@kttc.com

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