How to avoid porch pirates for Christmas shopping


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — There’s just 24 days until Christmas, and this year, holiday shopping will look a bit different as more Americans trade crowded department stores and long lines for online shopping due to the pandemic.

Mobile Police tells News 5’s Amber Grigley because more people are shopping online, they expect porch pirates to be at an all-time high.

This is something that you just hate to see happen every year especially right before Christmas. Mobile Police said being proactive and taking the extra steps to protect your packages can stop porch pirates from ruining your holiday!

“It’s probably more tempting than it usually is,” said Jennifer Precht, a victim of porch pirates.

Time after time you see outrageous videos with thieves snatching packages from people’s front door.

And this year, we are bound to see more porch pirates than usual looking for the right opportunity.

“We know a lot of people are ordering the majority of their gifts online these days because of COVID,” said Cpl. Ryan Blakely with Mobile Police Department.

Jennifer Precht said that she is a victim of package theft, just a few months ago.

‘How did that make you feel?’ asked Grigley.

“Frustrated. You know it’s one of those situations where it made me more aware of wanting to get home and track what’s arriving on my porch,” said Precht.

About 35.5 million Americans have been victims of package theft over the past 12 months due to porch pirates, according to

Blakely said eliminating easy targets is vital.

“Amazon has lockboxes that you can have your package delivered to and pick them up at their locations. You also have the option of having your package delivered to UPS stores where you can go curbside or in the store to pick those things up,” said Blakely.

Blakley also recommends leaving specific directions for carriers to hide your packages delivered either behind a bush or under the stairs, just to give you a few examples.

Precht said this was her first experience with porch pirates and moving forward she will be on top of things to avoid this from happening again.

“I’ve been pinging services like Amazon and other services that will actually ping your phone either text you and let you know when things have been delivered,” said Precht.

Another great tip is to get in contact with some of your neighbors to see if someone can grab your packages for you while you’re away.


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