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The original item was published from 10/25/2021 2:33:30 PM to 1/1/2023 12:00:05 AM.

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Posted on: October 25, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Holiday Shopping Online? Be Alert for Porch Pirates

Package-theft suspect picking up package on apartment front porch

The final months of the year are often marked with an increase in package thefts.  
"Porch pirates" know that more people are shopping for holiday gifts online,  and they've learned how to take advantage of the trend.

But there's also a growing list of things you can do to protect your purchases. 

Every major delivery service now has a way to track the progress of your package as it makes its way to your front door.  Take advantage of available package tracking, so you can be sure you'll be home and ready for a delivery.  Bring your packages indoors as quickly as possible. 

If you shop from Amazon, it may be wise to pick up packages at an Amazon hub; a locker or assisted-counter location near you. 

For some people, the best choice is purchasing parcel lock box, placed on their front porch.  Some are available with smart features, others are either mounted to the porch or weighted down, internally. There are package size limits, and they're not foolproof - but they may be just enough to stop a thief, whose goal is to steal packages as swiftly and quietly as possible. 

Many neighborhoods have also invested in locking mailboxes with parcel lockers. Most of the time, these investments pay off and encourage mail and package thieves to move along and find an easier target. 

Studies indicate thieves tend to avoid homes with security systems, like cameras.. and there are several new front-door and doorbell camera options to choose from.  Some require subscription services, and others don't - so choose the one that's right for you.  Many neighbors opt to choose the same camera-security system, so they can help keep an eye on each others' homes using the same phone APP.  

Even when the security cameras fail to prevent a theft, they can still help recover stolen items, especially when the video offers a good view of suspects, vehicles involved, and time-of day information.  Package-theft suspect climbing stairs with suspect vehicle following close by

Porch pirates rarely target just one home in a neighborhood.  So, the more evidence police can gather, the better the chances of finding and catching the culprits - and returning the stolen packages. 

If you need to report a package, stolen at your home or business in Bothell, report the theft. If the theft occurred within the last 10 minutes, call 911.  If you're not sure when the theft happened, call the Bothell Police non-emergency number: 425.486.1254.  You can also file an online police report.

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