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Delray Beach police warn porch pirates are on the prowl

Posted at 6:11 AM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 06:11:28-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The holiday season is here and that also means its prime time for porch pirates to steal your stuff, right off your doorstep.

With Cyber Monday now behind us and more people shopping online because of COVID-19, Delray Beach Police say they expect to see an uptick in this crime of opportunity.

“Especially with the virus, more and more people are shopping online and there’s a lot more packages being delivered. You see the Amazon trucks almost as regular traffic in a community,” said Delray Beach Police Detective Paul Pitti.

Pitti says there are several things you can do to keep yourself and your deliveries safe. “

If you know you are going to be at work or not home, have a neighbor or someone on standby who lives close by who can actually go pick it up for you or even have it delivered to the neighbor’s house or a relative’s home so you know it’s going to be in the hands of someone who is there,” Pitti said.

While many people are working from home which makes it easier to retrieve your packages, if you are working at an office, you can have your packages delivered there instead. You can also track the shipping status of your package so you know exactly when it should arrive, or require a signature upon delivery.

Pitti also says take into account how vulnerable your home may be to thieves.

“I think if you have a front door that’s visible from the street and you are ordering 10 packages at a time, anyone walking by can see that. If your door is a little more hidden, it would be easier to keep it concealed," said Pitti. "I think it’s just something if it’s in view and it’s been there for a long time, they know no one is home and they can pick it up.”

If you are able, Pitti says it is a good idea to install a camera outside of your home.

"Fortunately we’ve been able to solve some of these cases thanks to people having door cameras and Ring cameras and that sort of thing," said Pitti. "So we’ve been able to identify people who have stolen packages right off the front doorstep.”

Delray Beach Police say they had 29 package thefts reported last year and 39 reported through December 2 of this year.

If you plan to shop in person, Delray Beach Police will have its robbery task force out in shopping centers to increase the police presence during the holiday season.