Preventing porch package thefts this holiday season

Preventing porch package thefts this holiday season

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police departments across Central Virginia are anticipating an increase in package thefts as the holiday season gets underway.

Richmond Police Officer Nakia Williams said they tend to see an uptick after the Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas.

“Homes with short driveways and walkways usually get a lot of attention,” Williams said.

There are plenty of simple things homeowners can do to ensure their packages don’t wander off.

"They can call us and let us know their package is expected to be delivered at this time and get us to come out and at least check on the packages," Williams said.

'Tis the season for pleasant surprises at your doorstep after a weekend of online shopping; but the sight could also bring out porch pirates this holiday season.

“I’ve had a few stolen,” said Nickolas Cairo, of Richmond. “I don’t know how many times now.”

Cairo’s past experiences are why he’s taking advantage of the great deals this weekend.

“Cameras are actually always my best bet,” he said. “I actually got one ordered for Black Friday just for that very reason.”

“The Ring doorbell and camera footage definitely helps us because it’s clear for one, and we may know or have a tip of who the thief may be,” Williams added.

According to a Nov. 2017 study by Blink, a video security company, Virginia is 0.05 times more likely to have a package stolen, versus North Dakota at 26.20.

"It's a crime of opportunity," Cairo said.

Some ways to nix that opportunity include hiding those packages, mailing them to your work, or even taking advantage of Amazon lockers.

"They have Amazon lockers at different grocery stores, also at the post office,” Williams said. “They're lock boxes so no one can get in these except you."

The manager of Farm Fresh on East Main Street in Shockoe Bottom said the lockers at their store are always full.

Williams said in most cases thieves could face petty larceny and even grand larceny charges.

However not only are police reminding you about safety for your packages, but they also want you to lock your car at all times, especially when out shopping this holiday season.

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