’Tis the season for porch pirates

Cyber Monday is expected to break records and that means many people will be getting packages sent to their door. With the holiday season comes porch pirate season so it is important to protect your packages.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday spending is expected to grow more than 35 percent compared to last year. That’s nearly $13,000,000,000 on top of a record $9,000,000,000 spent online Black Friday. Delivery drivers will be busy, so it’s important to protect your packages from porch pirates.

News4jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson has seen it time and time again.

“Porch pirates drive around, they can see that package there,” Jefferson said. “Particularly this time of year because they’re looking for packages.”

Jefferson says porch pirates often drive up and down neighborhood streets looking for packages to steal from the front door. Others, he says, will follow delivery trucks looking to see where they make deliveries. Jefferson says if you can, try to outsmart the porch pirate by having special instructions for your delivery person.

“Tell them not to put it in front of the door, just conceal it,” Jefferson said. “That way, you’ll know it’s been delivered, you’ll know where it is.”

Jefferson also notes some companies allow access to garages. This is another option for delivery drivers.

“They can open the garage door, they place it right there at the foot of the garage door,” Jefferson said. “They can then close the garage door.”

Door cameras can help deter, but as many of us have seen over the years, they’re not always a sure thing in stopping a porch pirate. What’s more, Jefferson says the pandemic, in a way, has made it easier for porch pirates to conceal themselves.

“They’ll put on a mask, throw on a hoodie,” Jefferson said. “Unless you see the car or something that stands out, it’s very, very difficult to identify them because they’re in and out so quickly.”

While Ring cameras are good products and can offer a wide view, Jefferson says they do come with limitations, that’s why he says more traditional surveillance cameras can be better when placed strategically around the home.

“They can focus in a little bit better,” Jefferson said. “You can actually zoom in when you’re looking at a recording. You can see the persons coming up and get a better description.”

Jefferson recommends having your package delivered to your workplace or at the home of someone who can be there to receive it. He says you can also have it sent to the store for you to pick up later. Jefferson also says it’s always a good idea to track your package as closely as you can. Whether it’s through the delivery service or the store where you bought the item. This way, you can have a plan in place for a quick pick up.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.