SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s the season of giving, but for criminals, it’s the season of taking.
Package theft has become such a problem that one survey says 66% of people are avoiding any online shopping as a defense against porch pirates.
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk, but the Savannah Police Department (SPD) says make no mistake: package theft is like a seasonal job for some.
“There are individuals who will actually drive around just looking for packages that are left on porches,” said SPD Neighborhood Resource Officer Cpl. Sharif Lockett.
“We’ve seen it before where people have actually followed the trucking company vehicles or the delivery company vehicles and they will literally go right behind them and pick up packages that they see that are delivered,” he added.
In the last holiday season, 23 million packages were stolen in the U.S. Nextdoor, a neighborhood social media site, reports that 62% of people surveyed experienced package theft.
Half of those surveyed labeled it a “serious problem.” Meanwhile, 51% enlist their neighbors to help fight it.
News 3 spoke with one victim, who did not want her full name revealed, who shared her story of a porch pirate who was like the Grinch who stole Christmas.
“I’ve had several packages taken from me,” she said. “I ordered it from QVC, HSN. So they had to send it, send it back out to me but it was after Christmas and it ruined my whole Christmas.”
Some say installing a doorbell camera and posting a warning sign has helped prevent porch piracy. Others have dedicated package theft alarm systems.
But SPD offers another alternative that’s been effective in Savannah.
“Have it re-routed to maybe your place of employment. That’s what a lot of people are doing now and we’re kinda seeing the package thefts decline with that,” said Lockett.
If you’re not able to deliver to a more secure location, one of the best things to do it to make the time to be at home when expecting a package.