Porch pirates are out there, folks. They don’t care about you or your Christmas celebration, they’re just selfish crooks trying to make an easy score. It might be surprising to see who some of these crooks are.
For instance, Dana Hager is the wife of a Haynes City, FL, police sergeant. A Yahoo News article states:
“The alleged porch pirate, 42-year-old Dana Hager from Lakeland, Florida, drove up to a neighbor’s home, walked to the front door, took two brown USPS packages containing Christmas gifts for the family’s two-year-old child, put the packages in her car, and then drove away last Friday around 10 p.m., according to an affidavit and home security video sent to ABC News by the Polk County Sheriff’s office.” That had to be awkward.
Then you have Mary Palmer-Correa of Milwaukie, Oregon. She was arrested December 3rd for sending her 9-year-old daughter to steal delivered packages. Way to teach your kid about the spirit of Christmas, mom.
The police department in Rancho Cordova, California, is being very proactive about fighting this crime. They have instituted a program putting out fake packages with minuscule GPS tracking devices. Dressed as delivery people, officers work with retailers and residents who are aware that the packages are made to be tracked. If a thief picks up the package, police can track its location on a computer.
Some delivery services have mobile device apps that let you know when a package will be delivered. FedEx Delivery Manager will send you an alert when your package is going to be delivered and lets you redirect a package to another address if you know you won’t be home at the time of delivery. UPS My Choice members will receive an email, voice or text message the day before a delivery and can log on, track packages, reroute or reschedule shipment.
There are some common sense things you can do to protect yourself, and your packages, from these greedy Grinches:
- If you can, have your packages delivered to your work place or a P.O. Box.
- Request that the delivery require a signature.
- Have a trusted neighbor keep an eye open for deliveries and take them in for you.
- Buy insurance for your packages.
- Use a video surveillance system.
Protect yourself from punks and crooks. May your Christmas celebration be a happy one.
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