GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — You may see the news around this time of year showing incidents of people’s holiday packages being stolen off their porches.
The people who take part in this crime are called porch pirates because they tend to target people who may not have the option of mailboxes that are protected under lock and key.
These crimes usually happen during the day when packages are being delivered, people are at work and when the coast seems to be clear for them to make their move.
Sgt. Lee Darnell with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says, not only is this an annoyance, but it can also be extremely dangerous for those who get meds and other necessities delivered.
“One time we had presents stolen from front porches but when they opened it, it was important medicine that the homeowner had to have to survive and there were delays in them getting new prescriptions and getting them filled,” said Darnell.
He says they have had much success over the years in educating people on places they can redirect their packages and cracking down on these porch pirates.
He also explains that although people may feel this won’t happen to them, it really comes down to a matter of seconds.
“When they see packages sitting on the front porch they will pull up, have someone jump out, run up and grab it, and be gone in seconds,” said Darnell.
He says there is now new technology like alarms and cameras that can help homeowners deter these criminals.
Now for those who don’t have mailboxes that lock, he says a good way to keep your things safe is to see if you can send important deliveries to a friend or relative that you know will be home during the day to bring it inside.
Darnell also says that some specialty stores will actually hold on to your packages. He even mentions that it could be smart to have your gifts sent to your job if your employer will allow that.