Lyon County Sheriff’s Office offers tips to protect against porch pirates

EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) – ‘Tis the season for gifts to be delivered on people’s front porches.

Unfortunately, it’s also a time when some people play the role of the Grinch as they steal those presents before the intended parties ever receive them.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office this week provided tips for individuals to avoid becoming victims of “porch pirates” who make the rounds in an effort to steal packages from outside people’s homes.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Lyon County sheriff’s Det. Sgt. Jacob Welsh said an estimated 1 in 3 Americans have been a victim of a “porch pirate” or someone who steals delivered packages from front porches.

According to Welsh’s post, Amazon reported a 60% increase of online sales in 2020 compared to 2019 for Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

“What this means,” Welsh says, “is more and more people are shopping online and will be expecting packages on their front porch. “

Welsh then offered tips for people to avoid becoming victims of porch pirates:

• 1. Consider having your packages delivered to your workplace or office.

• 2. Get delivery alerts and retrieve your packages quickly. Don’t let them sit outside for several hours.

• 3. Use a camera system with motion detection. This both deters thieves and provides evidence should you become a victim.

• 4. Have good relationships with your neighbors. This goes a long way in more than just keeping an eye on your residence!

• 5. Use extra lighting in the area where your packages are delivered to deter crime.

• 6. Report suspicious vehicles.

• 7. Use the “ship to store” or “pickup” options when purchasing.

• 8. Set up vacation holds through the post office if you plan to be gone for a few days.

• 9. Register for daily alerts on all incoming mail at https://informeddelivery.usps.com/. You will get pictures of your incoming mail in your email inbox, daily.

• 10. Download the Neighbors by Ring app to your SmartPhone. This allows you to see alerts in your neighborhood as well as videos that may be posted of suspicious persons or thefts.

“Ultimately, we don’t want the Grinch showing up on your doorstep and taking packages that clearly don’t belong to them,” Welsh said in the Facebook post. “As a community, we can fight theft together by each of us doing our part.”

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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