‘Tis the season for porch pirates: How to avoid package theft this holiday season

Click to play video: '‘Tis the season for porch pirates: How to avoid package theft this holiday season'
‘Tis the season for porch pirates: How to avoid package theft this holiday season
'Tis the season for giving - and for stealing. Especially with the ongoing pandemic, more people are shopping online for their holiday gift - and it can only take seconds for a 'porch pirate' to swipe those packages once they're delivered. Mark Giunta has more on how you can protect yourself – Dec 7, 2020

According to FedEx Express Canada, the shipping and courier company has been operating at peak capacity since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring.

The reason is more Canadians than ever before are turning to online shopping.

“What we’re now experiencing now is a peak on peak, or what we call, tongue-and-cheek, the ship-a-thon,” said FedEx communications advisor James Anderson.

“Where it’s record volumes in our network, across Canada and around the world.”

But more packages mean more opportunities for porch pirates, or thieves that steal packages left by couriers at customers’ homes.

Anderson says a FedEx survey of 1,500 Canadians revealed that these crimes are on the rise.

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“Last year, our survey found one in four Canadians were victims of a package theft at their door,” Anderson said.

“This year, that’s up to 33 per cent, or roughly one in three of our respondents.”

There are ways to avoid having a package left on your porch become ripe for the taking.

That includes using shipping company apps to change where your package is going or to simply track it to ensure you’re home to receive it when it arrives.

“The solution is on your phone or computer.  We have digital solutions to empower package recipients to have their package held or redirected to a location of their choosing,” Anderson added.

Other options can also include installing security or doorbell cameras or lockboxes.

Click to play video: 'Protecting yourself from porch pirates'
Protecting yourself from porch pirates

Police are reminding residents to be aware of porch pirates and to take the necessary precautions to ensure their packages aren’t swiped.

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“It doesn’t take long for these crimes to happen,” said Peterborough County OPP const. Joe Ayotte.  “As soon as that delivery is made, you get a notification, so make sure you’re there to grab it or have someone grab it for you.”

“We’re also asking residents to report any suspicious activity in neighbourhoods,” added Peterborough Police Service spokesperson Sandra Dueck.  “If you see someone checking homes, either on foot or slowly driving by in a vehicle, or even following a delivery van, call police.

Police say no matter the value of the package that’s stolen, the best course of action is to report it.

And if you’d prefer to shop at the mall or at stores, police are reminding you to always lock your vehicle and to keep all gifts and personal belongings out of sight.

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