COTTAGE COUNTRY, ON – You may have purchased presents online this year and the OPP is warning to be wary of “porch pirates.”

Police said “porch pirates” are thieves who steal parcels left at someone’s house when they are not home to accept them.

Police suggest anyone placing an order to monitor it online so they have a better idea of when it will arrive and be home when it is delivered. If that isn’t an option, officers advised having a trusted neighbour or friend be around to take it or have it delivered to work if possible.

Another idea the OPP gave is to install a motion-detecting home security system that records video and can send warnings of any activity to one’s cell phone.

“Ensuring a safe delivery makes sense year-round, but we know that would-be thieves are especially keen during the holiday season as there is an increase of purchases,” OPP Inspector Angie McCollum said. “Be sure to take some simple precautions to ensure your purchases make it to the right person this holiday.”

Anyone who has a package stolen is asked to call their local police department and shipping company. Witnesses of theft or who see suspicious activity are also asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.