Shopping online for gifts has become as synonymous with the holidays as festive lights and eggnog. Unfortunately the increase in deliveries left at our front door often means a rise in “porch piracy”, where thieves steal or rummage through the packages left at entryways.
The City of Falls Church Police Department recommends taking the following precautions to avoid porch piracy and other thefts during the holiday season:
- Require the package be signed for before delivery. If you’re ordering a gift that will be shipped directly to a friend or family, require a signature delivery for them as well.
- Opt-in for delivery notifications and get an alert when your package is delivered.
- Ask your employer if packages can be delivered to your workplace during the holiday season.
- Friendly with a stay-at-home neighbor? Ask them if you can ship packages to their address or to check your front door when you receive a delivery notification or if you know the package is out for delivery.
- Even if your neighbors aren’t stay-at-home, coordinate a “Neighborhood Package Watch” where neighbors can keep an eye out for each other’s packages when they are home.
- Designate the delivery service to leave the package somewhere specific (i.e. back porch, side door, garage)
- Some online retailers and delivery services will let you ship to a locker or a physical store where you can pick packages up at your convenience, including Amazon Locker, FedEx at Walgreens, UPS Access Point Deliveries,
- Don’t advertise new gifts or purchases. Break up cartons before leaving them at the curb or dispose of them another way the morning of trash pickup.
- If you’re going out-of-town for several days, hold your mail, packages, and newspaper delivery or ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.
- As always, if you see something – say something. That includes suspicious people or vehicles in your neighborhood, especially after a delivery truck comes through. Don’t be afraid to call the City of Falls Church non-emergency phone number: 703-241-5053