Deterring porch pirates as Cyber Monday deliveries arrive

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One North Knoxville resident recently caught a porch pirate on her Ring doorbell, stealing items in broad daylight.

The resident said she bought her Ring doorbell just six months ago after someone took a kayak off her porch.

Although the video captured the culprit, the resident needs to rely on others to recognize him.

Scott Erland, spokesperson for the Knoxville Police Department, said online shoppers should have a plan in place for deliveries before they reach the porch.

“The reason (package thefts) happens so often is because it’s a package that’s just sitting there, it’s unsecured, it’s right in the open,” Erland said.

The security website alarms.org recently ranked Tennessee as 11th in the country for holiday related crime.

Erland said that there are several ways to make sure you get your package and a porch pirate doesn’t:

  • Ask if items can be delivered to your place of work
  • Ship items to a family member or friend’s house if they are usually home during the day
  • If ordering through Amazon, search for ‘Amazon Hub Lockers’ near you–the items will be shipped to a locked storage site
  • Amazon also offers specific delivery days so you can choose a day you are home
  • Ask a trustworthy neighbor to pick up packages on your porch
  • Ask USPS to hold packages so you can pick them up

“You can find somebody in your neighborhood, maybe somebody who is retired in the neighborhood, or a friend who works different hours than you. Somebody you trust who can come pick up your package and keep an eye on your house,” Erland said.

Erland said that surveillance cameras work well after a package is already stole, because police can use the video as evidence.

He said if you don’t have surveillance cameras, make friends with your neighbors.

Neighbors can help, at the very least, spot a suspicious vehicle or person in the area and can notify the homeowner or police.

Erland said that any description of a possible suspect is better than none, especially when it comes to porch pirates.

“If nobody saw anything, if there are no cameras, if they already picked up everything, then these things can be really hard to solve. So, it’s just better to take preventative measures on the front end, before that package gets delivered to your house,” Erland said.

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