How to stop front porch package thieves

Federal investigators said as manager of the River Terrace Carrier Annex, Deenvaughn Rowe, 48, would use his access to USPS computers to track packages containing the drugs and send them to his co-conspirators, letter carriers at D.C.'s Lamond-Riggs post office. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — More online shopping for gifts this holiday season means more opportunities for “porch pirates” to steal packages right from your door. So how do you protect your purchases from these modern-day grinches?

Law enforcement has some important tips to help keep your purchases out of the hands of thieves this holiday season.

First think about having packages delivered where you are. For example, if you work all day you might want to think about having packages shipped to you at work.

Capt. Paul Starks with Montgomery County police says you also can set alternative pickup options.

“Major delivery companies have other access points where you can go to pick up you packages near your home to prevent them from being stolen,” said Starks.

For example, UPS has an Access Point Network where you can pick up your package at a local grocery store or convenience store.

Another good idea is to track your package so you know exactly when it will arrive. This way you can plan to pick it up as soon as it’s delivered or have a neighbor grab it for you.

Starks says to talk to your neighbors and to encourage each other be on the lookout for suspicious activity, like a vehicle following a delivery truck or a stranger taking a package from outside of a home. Starks says to report any suspicious activity to police.

Home surveillance cameras can also help deter thieves. Starks said they should be placed so the cameras are visible to thieves but high enough that they can’t be tampered with. He also encourages outdoor security lighting and a home alarm system.

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