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London, Ont. police share tips on preventing ‘porch pirates’ this holiday season

Video cameras, locked delivery boxes, and simply being home when a delivery is expected can help deter porch piracy. FILE PHOTO. (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted)

London, Ont., police are sharing tips to prevent Londoners from falling victim to ‘porch pirates’ this holiday season.

The term refers to thieves who steal packages delivered to people’s houses.

According to Sterling Morris from Prevent Package Theft, a group dedicated to helping others prevent their packages from being stolen, around 25 per cent of Canadians have been victims of porch piracy.

“In 2020, a FedEx Express Canada survey found that one in four Canadians has had their package stolen from their porch (and) it’s only growing,” Morris said, adding that roughly 75 per cent of Canadians shop online.

Const. Barry MacDonald with the London Police Service recommends installing video doorbells or security cameras to deter potential porch pirates.

However, he emphasized that security cameras must be positioned at the right height.

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“A lot of times when we have people giving us security footage, it’ll be a top-down view, so placement of the cameras is really important to us.”

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In addition, police recommend having packages delivered at a time when you know you’re home, having them delivered to a post office or providing instructions such as placing packages behind a bush to hide them.

If your package does get stolen, MacDonald says to report it to police.

“If you have something that’s supposed to be delivered and you know that it has been stolen, you should absolutely call the police to report it.”

Morris also recommends contacting the shipper and carrier in the event of a stolen package.

“If you had a package stolen, contact (the shipper) and file a report,” he said. “You should also reach out to the carrier and let them know the package they said was delivered was not on your doorstep.”

Morris also recommends purchasing a lockable package delivery box that owners unlock with a key.

Morris says purchasing package insurance or using a sign that states the premise is monitored by cameras could also be effective at curbing the chances of attracting porch pirates.

-with files from 980 CFPL’s Mike Stubbs and Maya Reid 

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