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Porch piracy skyrocketing in California; how to stop the thieves

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A surveillance video shows a crook stealing packages from a front porch.

Unfortunately it seems like we're seeing videos like this almost daily.

It's happening at homes around the desert.

"I definitely think about the safety of our communities in making sure people take precautions when they start having packages shipped for the holidays," said Palm Springs Police Sergeant Mike Casavan.

Casavan says his department does not specifically track cases of porch piracy.

When reported it's simply classified as "petty theft" or "grand theft" depending on the value of what is taken.

But, he says it is happening, especially this time of year at homes throughout the valley.

In fact, people who live in one Palm Desert neighborhood off Frank Sinatra tell us they've seen a lot of it.

"You know it doesn't feel safe, Maybe they break into the house and that is not good," said homeowner Mustafa Cider.

Cider says thankfully his home has not been hit by porch pirates but he is hearing about it happening at homes nearby.

While waiting for his own shipments he is considering steps recommended by security experts and law enforcement.

First is making sure the front door is well lit.

Also consider a security camera.

"Maybe just having surveillance equipment put up at your house so if your packages are stolen, at least we have a video to see who did it, and possibly identify them," said Casavan.

If your package is being shipped by Fed Express use the "hold for pickup" option where you can go to their location to get your package versus having it delivered to your house.

UPS also offers that option.

A workplace is another location where your packages can be delivered where they won't be spotted by a potential porch pirate.

"It's a problem I believe, UPS I think just leave the package, they don't ring or knock on the door," said Cider.

There are also several Amazon "hub lockers" where, if your package is coming from Amazon, you can have that shipment sent .. for pick up at your convenience.

If a porch pirate does take something from your front door, the consumer resource website "Value Penguin" provides a list of steps that you should take as part of an effort to get that shipment back or get the item replaced.

Link:

https://www.valuepenguin.com/home-insurance/6-steps-take-if-your-package-gets-stolen-your-door

California / Crime / News Headlines / Top Stories

Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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