Porch piracy: Don’t let your holiday packages linger at doorstep

Packages are shown on a porch in Memphis, Tenn. A recent study found that 40% of American shoppers have been victims of package theft.

The videos tend to go viral: Porch pirates nonchalantly walk up to targeted homes, packages resting near the entry, and sprint off, often oblivious to the cameras capturing the brazen crimes.

With the proliferation of online shopping, security.org — a home-surveillance and identity theft prevention company — released a study amid the approaching holiday season that claims 40% of American shoppers have been victims of package theft.

With 80% of U.S. adults indulging in online shopping, spending a projected $605 billion this year, according to the study, the losses can start stacking up.

The company also ranked states on how at-risk its residents are of becoming theft victims. Nevada fared better than average with the No. 32 position.

Law enforcement have tips on how to drive that number lower.

  • The longer you leave packages at the doorstep, the more inviting it is for thieves to act, said Metro Police Lt. William Matchko during a holiday safety event this week.
  • Metro Officer Aden OcampoGomez recommends shoppers schedule deliveries to coincide when someone is home to receive it.
  • Having a relationship with neighbors might also prove handy, as shoppers can coordinate with them to pick up and hold their deliveries, he said.

For shoppers with busy schedules, Amazon offers deliveries at lockers at third-party locations.

Security.org recommends having packages delivered to your workplace or simply shopping at bricks-and-mortar outlets a little more.

It’s hard to say how many people have been victimized in Las Vegas. Metro tracks statistics of larceny, but doesn’t break it down by package thefts, Ocampo Gomez said.