Saving Christmas by thwarting porch pirates

Avoiding porch pirates

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Holiday shopping during a pandemic means millions of Americans will resort to shopping online for gifts, but in the last few days, some Watertown residents have reported stolen packages.

On Monday, Watertown police say two city residents reported problems with packages.

One was stolen right from the porch and another was missing an expensive product that was supposed to be inside.

The complaints were on Emerson Street and Flower Avenue West.

Watertown police Detective Lt. Joe Donoghue says this is typically a problem during the holidays: porch pirates, people who steal delivered packages right off people’s porches.

“It appears, though, in the last couple years it does seem to increase,” he said. “It’s not just in the city of Watertown but it’s all over.”

Last December, the New York Times reported that 1.7 million packages are stolen or go missing every day in the U.S.

And a study from C+R Research found that at least 1 in 3 Americans reported a package theft during last year’s holiday season.

But Donoghue says there are precautions you can take, like using a tracking number to make sure someone is home at the time of delivery.

“Go to the app for the, whether it’s UPS, Fed Ex, or even the postal service, and check and see when the item is supposed to be dropped off and try to have somebody available.”

Donoghue also says that a porch camera can help the police track down a suspect, but having someone home to pick up the package is the safest way to make sure it makes it inside.

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