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How to stop porch pirates from stealing your holiday packages

The holiday season brings the highest risk of having a package stolen from your doorstep. However, there are ways you can protect your packages from pirates.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The First Coast has a long history of fighting pirates. Much like the pirates of old, porch pirates are looking to steal treasures for themselves. The difference is they prey on doorsteps. Porch pirates may also take the form of the most unusual criminal.

A few days ago, multiple packages were delivered to Shayla Goshay's Jacksonville home. Goshay was at work but her door security camera notified her of the delivery.

"If I had not seen it, she would have been gone," Goshay recalled.

When Goshay checked her camera, she saw a teenage girl walking up to her front door and taking one of her packages: A Christmas present.

"When she heard me say put my stuff back she dropped it and ran," said Goshay, "I did find out she lives in my neighborhood. She is a little girl."

Goshay called police and presented the security camera video to the girl and her parents. 

"I did show them, but she denied it, even though she was wearing the same clothing," Goshay said.

The experience so troubled Goshay, she is rethinking how she will have packages delivered to her in the future.

"I'm so skeptical I don't even want my stuff delivered at my house anymore," Goshay said.

Law Enforcement expert Mark Baughman said package thefts are crimes of opportunity.

"They're crimes of opportunity because they are easy to commit," Baughman said.

Safewise, a home safety and security company, found package thefts are at an all time high in 2020.

"This year, it has been an issue since about May," said Rebecca Edwards, a lead safety reporter and in-house expert for Safewise.

Edwards explained Safewise surveyed Americans in September about package thefts. Of the more than 1,000 people surveyed, 50% of them reported they had a package stolen from their home this year, 10% higher than the percentage of packages stolen in 2019.

Experts recommend the following tips to protect yourself from porch pirates:

  • Be diligent in tracking of packages do not ignore the notifications like they're background noise.
  • If you are not sure, have your packages delivered to a locker, shippers like Amazon has several available.
  • You can elect to have your packages held with the carrier whether it is the US Postal Service, Fed Ex or UPS.
  • Invest in a security to sends notices to your cell phone every time someone comes to the front door.