Constable offers solutions to combat “Porch Pirates”

Video still of a Harris Count Precinct 5 Constable's Office cruiser with emergency lights on. (CNR photo by Creighton Holub)
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CYPRESS — More and more Americans are doing much of their holiday shopping online. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more package thefts from the doorsteps of the homes in Precinct 5. Nationwide, an estimated 11 million homes had packages stolen during 2017.

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Constable Ted Heap offers these tips to help protect yourself from so-called “porch pirates.”

1) If you can’t be at home during normal delivery hours, have someone you trust receive the packages instead. Most online retailers offer tracking services, so you can see when your orders are delivered. Once you know your purchases have been delivered, have a trusted neighbor collect them from your doorstep rather than letting them sit outside til you return. Or have the packages delivered directly to a trusted neighbor’s home, if you know they will be home to receive them.

2) Have packages delivered to where you are– not where you are not. If your workplace allows it, have your online orders shipped to your place of business rather than your home address.

3) If you live in an apartment, have your packages delivered to the front office, where you can pick them up at your convenience.

4) Request that online retailers require a signature when delivering a package. That will ensure that your deliveries don’t sit on your doorstep for hours at a time.

4) Have UPS and FedEx hold your packages at their facilities until you can pick them up.

5) If your packages are stolen, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

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