How to avoid porch pirates ahead of Christmas

APD Porch Pirates/BO: Holiday Shipping Deadlines

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Christmas is just around the corner and the Albany Police Department is sending a warning for people to be aware of porch pirates who are targeting your deliveries.

With Friday being National Free Shipping Day, law enforcement wants to make sure you are safe.

Albany police said they saw a large amount of thieves going on porches, taking items from others in years past.

From porch to porch, all over the country, thieves are taking packages left and right.

One woman said getting her gifts delivered to her doorstep is not an option this year.

“I’m avoiding it just by doing my own Christmas shopping by myself, going to Walmart and stuff,” explained Dupree Sinclair, a resident.

Derrick Williams, an investigator in the Albany Police Department’s Property Unit, said it’s that time of the year when holiday grinches look for their next gift.

“Very busy time of the year and a lot of people are ordering Christmas gifts offline,” said Williams.

Williams said because of the influx of online shopping, UPS companies are working past 7 p.m.

“So they’ll leave packages in plain view on your front porch or back porch and they’re just out in plain view for hours,” said Williams.

Which creates more opportunities for these crimes to be committed.

“This time now, it’s like the theft and everything else that is going on, I wouldn’t do shipping right now,” said Sinclair.

“Lot more liability for somebody to come walk up and take your packages. So this time of the year, it’s very great,” said Williams.

So if you want your Christmas gifts under your tree this year, it’s best to do everything to prevent unwelcome visitors on your porch.

“To prevent that, would probably be to set it up to where you to be able to sign for the package to be delivered or take it back to the store,” said Williams.

Or, if you know you’re not going to be at the house, leave it with a trusted neighbor who is at home, so you won’t be a victim of someone stealing your Christmas.

“I don’t know, just be careful when you’re going outside checking your items and stuff. Be careful,” said Sinclair.

APD investigators said over the next couple of days they will ride through neighborhoods to make sure their presence is known in areas where they see boxes on porches.

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