With the holidays approaching, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is warning of Grinches and porch pirates taking advantage of the rise in home deliveries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the Christmas period we oftentimes are staying inside and we put our guard down — unfortunately, the crooks do not,” Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers executive director Linda Annis said Tuesday.
“They’re watching your house. They’re watching for anything that could make your house vulnerable to them, breaking in and stealing your goods.”
Unattended parcels are an easy target for criminals, some of whom reportedly follow shipping trucks as they unload merchandise at the doorstep, Annis said.
To protect yourself from pandemic porch pirates, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers suggests not letting deliveries sit outside for too long, using home security video to watch for parcels, and guarding your garage door opener.
Annis said you should be careful about disposing of boxes that gifts came in.
“If you do get expensive gifts for Christmas like TVs or electronics, be sure not to just put the boxes out with your garbage,” she said.
“It’s an open invitation to someone that’s watching your home that you’ve just got a very expensive gift.”
Residents should also keep their blinds closed so passersby can’t see have a look at what was under the Christmas tree.
“It’s a very serious problem,” Annis said. “The Grinch is the last guy that you want to see in your neighbourhood.”