With the holiday season approaching and COVID-19 cases continuing to surge, online shopping is at an all-time high, meaning porch pirates will also pose a bigger problem than previously presumed due to the pandemic.
That's why the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office is addressing area residents on the problem, warning of the now-enhanced seasonal threat.
"the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office would like to call attention to a seasonal threat," a statement from the sheriff's office said Thursday. "Porch piracy will represent a bigger problem this year due to COVID-19."
According to the sheriff's office, many retail trade groups are expecting a 30% or more increase in online sales in comparison to 2019, giving porch pirates a greater opportunity to commit theft.
VCSO also addressed another factor giving the would-be thieves a possible edge.
"Now that masks are commonplace during the pandemic, would-be thieves no longer attract scrutiny by covering their face," explained VCSO.
Sheriff Dave Wedding is asking all area residents to report porch pirates to the sheriff's office, in addition to notifying the retailer and shipper.
Here are some tips from VCSO on defending against porch pirates:
- Bring in packages as quickly as possible.
- Sign up for text-based delivery notifications through your online retailer.
- Ask a neighbor to bring your packages inside if you are not home.
- Consider deterrent options such as a front porch Package Locker or a Video Doorbell.
- Join your neighborhood social media group on Nextdoor to better communicate with your neighbors regarding suspicious activity and receive localized alerts from the Sheriff's Office.