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OPP offer tips to defend against ‘porch pirates’ over the holiday season

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A homeowner in Pennsylvania said an Amazon box was stolen from his home last week, but says it wasn't a delivery he was expecting but actually a box filled with cat poop that he had been trying to get rid of – Dec 17, 2018

Ontario Provincial Police are offering up some helpful tips in an effort to curb the theft of deliveries from the front porch of homes over the holiday season.

A recent survey by FedEx showed that one in four Canadians have fallen victim to so-called ‘porch pirates.’

READ MORE: Survey finds a ‘surprising’ number of Canadians have been targeted by porch pirates

One such incident happened in Fergus, Ont., on Nov. 8, when pet medication was stolen off the front step of someone’s home in the small community north of Guelph.

OPP say a 15-year-old was identified and the package was returned to the house.

Their Fergus detachment has several suggestions on stopping porch pirates, like recommending that those expecting a package make arrangements to be at home for the delivery or ask someone, such as a neighbour or a friend, to collect it.

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A signature request or special delivery instructions can be left with some companies and residents should consider those options, OPP said.

“Even leaving a package out of sight may make all the difference,” they said.

Another option is to have a package delivered to the recipient’s workplace or held for pickup.

OPP mentioned the suspect in the Fergus theft was identified because the homeowner had surveillance footage.

READ MORE: ‘Porch pirate’ swipes Amazon box, gets more than she bargained for

They said residents should consider installing a home security system that can send live updates to their smartphones.

As always, OPP said any suspicious activity in the neighbourhood can be reported to the police.

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