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London, Ont., seeing uptick in porch package thefts: police

Police say 2020 has seen 36 per cent increase in porch package thefts since last year. Robert Bumsted / The Associated Press

Police in London, Ont., are issuing a warning to the public after they observed a significant increase in porch package thefts.

While there’s still a month to go in 2020, police say this year has already seen a 36-per cent increase in package thefts compared to 2019.

Read more: Online shopping during COVID-19 drives massive surge in holiday shipping

The uptick comes as shopping continues to shift online amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the health measures that accompany it.

In a release published on Thursday, police say thieves are taking advantage of the changing trends and “stealing packages that are unattended or easily accessible at residences throughout the city.

This map from police shows data on reported package thefts in London, Ont. London Police Service

Along with the warning to the public, police have also issued a number of precautions that Londoners can take to avoid being victims of a package theft:

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  • When possible, arrange for a specific delivery time or window to ensure that you will be home.
  • Monitor your tracking number to ensure that you are around when the package is delivered.
  • Ask a neighbour if they could receive your package if you won’t be home at the time of delivery.
  • Have your package delivered to a pick up point to ensure that it isn’t left unattended.
  • Get a ‘safe drop’ or locked mailbox for packages.
  • Keep clear sightlines to your porch, leave on lights, and install security cameras if possible.

London police’s Crime Analysis Unit detected the increase using mapping software that was funded by the provincial government.

Click to play video: 'Protecting yourself from porch pirates' Protecting yourself from porch pirates
Protecting yourself from porch pirates – Dec 3, 2020

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