Officials warn of increase in porch pirates during holiday season

(WSVN) - Crafty crooks are out to spoil the season and were spotted in some South Florida neighborhoods.

We heard the call for help after a delivery driver saw one in action.

Police and some delivery drivers are starting to work more closely together to prevent these crimes that are becoming very common.

The holiday season is here, and that means presents and packages. Unfortunately, that means homeowners need to keep an eye out for pesky porch pirates.

“And as we get into the holiday season, we don’t want anything to get interrupted, especially that package that you ordered,” said Coral Gables Police Department Chief Edward Hudak.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings started sooner and extended their deals for longer periods.

“Retailers have started offering — many of them — have started offering promotions earlier in the season, some as early as Halloween,” said Katherine Cullen, senior director for industry and consumer insights with the National Retail Federation.

Millions of shoppers search for the best bargain both in stores and online.

“UniRef projected an estimated 114, more than 114 million consumers will shop on Black Friday,” said Cullen.

But it is also an opportunity for those brazen burglars, and they don’t mind whether the delivery is big or small.

The Miami Police Department released a video of a man swiping a small package outside someone’s home, Tuesday.

Fortunately, delivery companies are now catching on.

“As soon as they saw me coming around the corner, and I saw them with the box, they flew down the road,” said an Amazon delivery driver.

The Amazon driver called the police after noticing a duo tailing her truck in Boynton Beach over the weekend, waiting to pounce.

“I’ve been delivering packages for Amazon all over the area today. I’ve seen them on Seacrest. I’ve seen them all through the neighborhood,” said the driver.

Some communities and the Coral Gables Police Department increased support with their neighborhood team policing unit.

Officers help by moving deliveries away from the eyes of greedy crooks.

“Who are the extra set of eyes and ears for the City of Coral Gables Police Department, they help with the reduction of package thefts every year,” said a Coral Gables police officer about officers on patrol.

Police said the best way to avoid the package problem is to have precautions put in place.

Officials suggest that residents:

  • Deliver packages to their community’s management office or to their place of business.
  • Require a signature for delivery.
  • Schedule a delivery for when someone’s home.
  • Invest in a doorbell/home video surveillance.

Police also said it’s better to call them than to confront a porch pirate.

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