SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Millions of people shopped online this Cyber Monday, and that means those gifts will start to appear on front porches and in mailboxes this week. But are you making sure those packages are safe when they're delivered to your home?
Holiday package theft is something we hear about year after year, and though the postal service doesn't have statistics on how often it happens, Cyber Monday spending has more than doubled in the past five years. And at the very least, that means a growing opportunity for so-called "front porch pirates."
"Last year I did see an increase of packages being stolen from doorsteps," said Cpl. Dana Purvis with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan
Police Department. "I haven't heard of anything this year yet, but it is still the beginning of the season."
But it's never too early to start playing it safe.
Security camera footage from a WTOC viewer who lives on Vineyard Street in Savannah caught a thief swiping a delivery off her doorstep on Friday. SCMPD is already working the case, and they say there are things you can do to protect your packages.
"Either have your packages delivered to your place of work, if your boss allows it. Or have them shipped during a time frame that you're going to be home or your neighbor would be home to get your packages for you," said Cpl. Purvis.
If that's not an option, you can ask the carrier to direct the delivery to a local office where you can pick up the package there.
Of course, you can also install a live-recording camera aimed at your porch. If you spot a theft as it happens, you can call police, or at the very least you'll have video that could help identify the thief later.
SCPMD has also partnered with delivery drivers before, encouraging them to keep an eye out on their routes. You can look out for them, too.
"Be vigilant. If someone's following them, picking up packages behind them, let the police know. Come to us and let us know, and we'll deal with it from there," said Cpl. Purvis.