Officials issue warning about porch pirates during holiday season

Updated: Nov. 27, 2018 at 11:30 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The season for giving is almost upon us, but unfortunately, it’s also a time when potential thieves go on the prowl to make off with packages. Officials warn folks to get prepared now as porch pirates begin popping up.

Scottie Hunter from WAFB's 9 News Alert Team reveals TIPS to protect your porch packages during this holiday season.

The crimes of opportunity can happen anywhere and Captain John Sharp with the Walker Police Department hopes this year residents will be ready. “We’re just trying to remind people to take the steps to protect themselves so that their Christmas isn’t ruined," said Sharp.

Captain John Sharp
Captain John Sharp(WAFB)

Walker PD recently sounded the alarm on Facebook, encouraging folks to be on the lookout. Sharp says with Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, now is the time that everyone’s front porch becomes a prime target for wrongdoers. He warns some of the thieves even roam the streets searching for the right moment to strike. “Because a lot of people are getting packages this time of year, it’s very common to have it happen, so you’ve got to really be aware of the fact that people are out there who want to separate you from your purchases,” Sharp added.

There are ways to protect yourself though. Sharp says customers could have their packages delivered at work instead of at home, leave special instructions for drivers to drop off goodies behind the house, or even plan ahead to be home to receive the packages. Sharp says residents could even join a neighborhood watch group to look out for one another, but believes one of the most important things they can do is invest in a camera system. He says it could catch crooks in the act or even stop them in their tracks. “That’s a good thing and it won’t bring your package back if it is stolen, but it could help us to identify the person who got the package,” said Sharp.

With newer options out there, homeowners can even scare away a thief. A simple question or response through the camera-equipped doorbell system can sometimes be enough to spook someone who is up to no good. However residents plan to protect themselves this year, Sharp encourages them to stay alert and not let the Christmas season cloud their good judgement. “It’s the holiday season, but that means different things for different people. For some, that means an opportunity to steal.”

FedEx has partnered with certain drug stores to offer additional pick-up and drop-off locations residents can use for their packages. More information about that service can be found here.

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