MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Police call it a crime of opportunity — porch pirates after holiday treasures.
This Cyber Monday, if you ordered presents online they will soon be setting on your door step.
How can you keep those presents from getting snatched?
Mechanicsburg resident Susan Sears is Cyber Monday shopping.
“We’re members of Amazon Prime. They always have good deals, but they had even better deals,” Sears said.
She’s excited for the deliveries but police are warning of unwelcome visitors.
“It’s a crime of opportunity that will continue, especially this time of the season,” Upper Allen Police Lt. Mike McLaughlin said. “The term coined is ‘porch pirates.’ Individuals are following delivery trucks, delivery truck leaves the package unattended, and they go in and steal the package. It doesn’t matter what’s in the package. If they steal enough items, they pick out what they want, use it and resell the rest.”
To deter porch pirates from stealing your internet treasures police encourage “Have the packages delivered to your place of employment, to a relative or use tracking services available from the shipping companies.” Lieutenant McLaughlin continued “Most places will allow you to designate a time and specific location. The best way to prevent it is have a good neighbor take it in if you can’t be home.”
This holiday season, many are going high tech with at home security cameras.
“I think I saw something advertised online and it wasn’t too expensive to buy security cameras,” said Sears.
Police say it won’t stop the thieves but it might help catch them after the fact.
“It doesn’t deter the problem unless you’re placing the items in a locked box or locked bag,” Lt. McLaughlin said. “Sometimes depending on the technology you get a notification someone is on your property. You can audibly make those people aware they’re being filmed. Technology does help solve the problem, but it will not help prevent the problem.”
Police say the most important thing you can do is report suspicious activity to deter crime in your neighborhood.