Officers warn homeowners of porch pirates during holiday season

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- Law enforcement officers are encouraging homeowners to protect their packages from porch pirates this holiday season.

Due to COVID-19, the amount of online shopping has nearly doubled from previous years.

Imagine spending hundreds of dollars shopping online. Your packages are sent to the front door.

However, when you get home, the delivery isn’t there, it’s stolen.

Lt. Andy Long with Amory Police Department says reports of theft and fraud are growing rapidly during the holiday season.

” Some people are barely struggling with a job, and they’re out and maybe went back to their ways. It’s going to go up because whatever you see in the more populated areas is going to trickle down into the more rural neighborhoods. You’re going to see a rise in it,” said Long.

Long says cameras and alarm systems have helped homeowners keep their belongings safe.

” Last year, we were able to catch them thanks to the technology of doorbell ringers. People have such advanced stuff that people are purchasing for their home security. That helps a lot on that,” said Long.

However, not all residents are lucky.

In Clay County, Sheriff Eddie Scott says thieves are using multiple addresses to steal boxes.

” You have criminals using identity theft or fraud. Some are having packages sent to these houses and then coming to pick them up,” said Scott.

Scott is concerned the number of deliveries will result in more porch pirates.

” People are not getting out going to stores, which I understand that. It just opens up another avenue for criminals to start stealing right there off the front steps,” said Scott.

That’s why officers are encouraging folks to start a neighborhood watch program to report any suspicious activity.

Hiding boxes or communicating with a delivery provider could also lower the chances of stolen boxes.

” Whether it’s the fraud or whether it’s the theft of a package, it depends on the dollar amount. So you have a misdemeanor up to a felony. Surprisingly with prices going up on some goods, you can easily find yourself looking at a felony charge off one small package,” said Long.

Departments will step up patrol watch during the holiday season.

Categories: Local News

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