‘Tis the season for the prepping of the holidays. Many residents will purchase items online and have them shipped to their house. Unfortunately, this time of year also sees an increase in the activity of the porch pirate – a person who trolls a neighborhood looking for packages left on front porches. These items are then stolen leaving the victim with no gift and a potentially ruined holiday. The Manheim Township Police have created the following tips for residents to protect themselves from porch pirates:
- Have packages delivered to where you are, not to where you aren’t. Consider having packages delivered to your place of
employment instead of your home.
- Use tracking numbers and delivery notifications. Most major shipping companies offer this service for free, and may also send you
a text or email when your package arrives.
- Ask family members, trusted neighbors, and/or friends to accept deliveries on your behalf or ask them to pick up your packages
- Request packages to be placed in a less conspicuous spot, such as a side door, or behind a planter or garbage can.
- Many shipping companies now allow you to request a delivery time or timeframe. Schedule packages for when someone is home.
- Install a smart security camera at your front door.
- Request signature on delivery of packages, if possible.
- Some companies and shippers offer locker services for packages to be held at the distribution center for pick up by the customer.
Similarly, you can have an item shipped directly to an area store where you can safely pick it up.
- Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles and people in your neighborhood. Be sure to report suspicious activity to the Manheim
Township Police Department as it is occurring. **Calling after the fact makes it much harder to thwart potential criminal
Additionally, residents should be aware of a secondary scam where thieves will order items and have them shipped to unaware third parties and use their front door as a drop location. If you received a package you did not order, please call the shipping company and the Manheim Township Police Department to file a report.