How to combat Porch Pirates this holiday season

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Montgomery County police want to remind residents about some tips to prevent theft this holiday season.

MONTGOMERY, Md (WDVM)– With the holiday season upon us and the stores becoming more and more packed, online shopping is growing in the United States.. and so are porch pirates.

Package theft is a growing problem across America as 36% of people have reported having a package stolen at least once.

“This time of year we definitely see an increase of package thefts, so we want people to be aware of various ways that they can protect their items that they’re getting over the holidays,” said Rick Goodale, Montgomery County police officer.

With the holidays coming up and people having more items shipped to their homes, the Montgomery County police department wants to remind everyone of a few safety measures you can take this holiday season, and all year long, to prevent packages from being stolen from your home.

“What we recommend is if you’re buying from a retailer who has a traditional brick and mortar store that’s nearby the best thing to do is just have it shipped right to the store and pick that item up if it’s convenient.” said officer Goodale.

If that’s not a possibility, some other alternatives are …

“Always ensure someone’s home may be someone that can sign for the packaging, talk with your neighbors see if they would be willing to accept packages for you or have them delivered to a carrier location like UPS,” said officer Goodale.

Local consumer, Roland Onwu, says these companies need to be held responsible as well. “There should be some form of tracking or some mechanism to ensure that the person expecting the products gets it and if the company just drops it at the door there should be something in place to make sure people can’t just take it.”

Officer Goodale said another tip is to simply look out for your neighbors. “If you see your neighbor has a package delivered and it’s just sitting on the front porch if you have a rapport with your neighbor, maybe go ahead bring it in and let your neighbor know ‘hey I got this package for you I just didn’t want it sitting on the porch.'”

According to experts, the number of online shoppers in the US is expected to reach a high of 250 million by 2021.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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