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HomeNewsProvincial police warn to be on the lookout for so-called 'porch pirates'

Provincial police warn to be on the lookout for so-called ‘porch pirates’

‘Tis the season to spend hours shopping downtown or have gifts delivered to your doorstep. 

However, Provincial Const. Samantha Bigley with the Bracebridge OPP warns would-be thieves are on the lookout for unattended packages on your doorstop or sitting on the front seat of your car. 

“Whenever there is something good or positive we find in communities – in this case, the ability to make online orders that are delivered right to your door – there is that criminal element who looks for ways to take advantage,” she says. 

Bigley explains “porch pirate” is a slang term used to describe someone who snags packages that are left under mailboxes or on someone’s doorstep.  

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To protect yourself, she suggests installing surveillance cameras – like ones that are available for your doorbell – or posting signs that say the area is being watched over. Pointing out that doing that can be costly, Bigley adds you could make your home look like someone is there by keeping a few lights on or putting something near the front door that makes noise so it sounds like someone is home. 

Another tip is to stay in touch with neighbours and see if they heard or saw anything around the time you suspect a package may have been nabbed.  

“I’m happy to say so far, in the Bracebridge detachment area, we haven’t gotten any reports of those types of theft,” says Bigley. 

However, in the past few years, she adds there has been an increase of packages being stolen from apartment buildings. Unlike homes where there may be a secure place for packages, apartment buildings are usually inaccessible unless you have a key, so she says packages are often dropped in common areas.  

Bigley says the police’s “Lock it or Lose it” campaign runs all year, but now is one of the times it’s most relevant. “The items in your car during the busy holiday season can be vulnerable,” she says.  

Bigley suggests not leaving packages outside – in your car or anywhere else – overnight. If you’re spending the day shopping, she says to have a blanket to cover up what you already bought or put everything in the trunk. 

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