Protect packages from porch pirates this holiday season

Bay Area

UNION CITY (KRON) – They run and grab anything off a porch all across Union City.

Video shows a woman strolls right up to a home moments after she makes off in a getaway car.

The porch pirate phenomenon is nothing new in Union City and beyond, but it seems to increase during the holiday season.

“We do want people to remain aware and take precautions throughout the year,” Lt. Jeff Snell said. “But it’s an especially important during the months of November and December.”

Lt. Snell with the Union City Police Department said these package thefts are the ultimate crime of opportunity.

“Criminals are very observant and some of these crimes, some of these package theft crimes are literally crimes of opportunity,” Snell said.

There are ways to protect yourself.

Snell said it makes sense to set alerts on your phone to track package deliveries, many shippers offer that option.

Or — arrange a delivery to a trusted neighbor who usually has someone at home.

Both UPS and Amazon offer secure locker delivery opened with a code that is texted or emailed.

“Really the best advice is to stay home,” Snell said. “Let the delivery person know what time you’re going to be there and request a delivery at a certain hour so you can be there when the package arrives.”

Even in the tech savvy Bay Area, home surveillance cameras captures evidence but it’s not likely to deter a determined thief.

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