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Here's what to do if you become a victim of a porch pirate

Posted at 6:39 AM, Dec 12, 2018

In the next few days, many people will be receiving in the mail gifts recently purchased online.

To prevent theft, members of the U.S. Postal Inspector Services are on patrol in unmarked vehicles across South Florida.

RELATED: How to keep porch pirates from preying on you

"However, we can't be everywhere. The community is our eyes and ears," said Blanca Alvarez of Team Leader of Mail Theft and Violent Crimes. "If they see anything suspicious, like someone following a mail carrier... contact the local police first then contact the local postal inspectors."

If you were unlucky enough to have a package stolen from your front door, follow the steps below:

1.) Call police 

You need to call local police or the postal inspector's office in South Florida to file a report at 877-876-2455. That gives you more footing in dealing with the retailers.

2.) Double check

You might also want to recheck your tracking number and make sure that the package shows as being delivered. Print or screencap that documentation. You might also want to double check that a well meaning neighbor doesn't have it.

3.) File a claim

Be sure to file a claim with your shipping company. Here is the information to file a claim with the following companies:

4.) Check coverage policies

check your credit cards for purchase protection or even your renter's... you might not know that they will reimburse you for stolen items.

5.) Get insured

If you're ordering a high-value items such as a new iPhone or tablet, you can pay a small fee to get that item insured through the vendor or through the postal service.