Consumers may not be the only ones preparing for the start of the online holiday shopping season.  

Package thieves, also known as porch pirates, may also be keeping an eye out and preparing for the busiest time of the year for online businesses and the shipping companies.

C+R Research conducted a survey and found that nearly all of the respondents (92 percent) said they expect to get at least one online order delivered to their home this holiday season. 

Nearly half of the respondents (47 percent) said they worried about a package being stolen and 42 percent said they would avoid purchasing expensive items online.

Despite the worry, many of the respondents said they were not going to let potential thieves ruin their holiday spirit. They will continue to shop but take precautions such as staying home for deliveries or opting for in-store pickups.

While the Guernsey County Sherif’s Office and the Cambridge Police Department have reported that package thefts have not been much of an issue, Cambridge Police Lt. Dave Peoples shares the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of package thieves:

• Consider using a P.O. Box, check to see if the Post Office can take and hold larger packages,

• If possible require a signature on delivery,

• Use a lock box at your delivery point,

• Have your package delivered to your place of employment, 

• Have a trustworthy neighbor look out for your package delivery and take it inside,

• Have your package delivered to a friend or family member who will be home at the time of delivery,

• As a last resort, use security cameras. This is not a deterrent but more for piece of mind. They will not stop a thief but they may be caught at a later date if they can be identified.

Smart phone technology has made tracking packages easier with many shippers sending text or email updates to a receiver during the transit of a package. Knowing not just the day but the time of day a package is scheduled to arrive makes it easier to ensure someone is present when the package arrives. 

Online companies such as Amazon, allow the receiver to leave delivery instructions including where to place the package when they place their order and/or send a photo to the receiver of where the package is left when delivered. 

“No matter how you choose to shop this year, taking precautions and utilizing security features might be your best best to avoid package theft for the holiday shopping season and beyond,” according to the 2019 Package Theft Report by C+R Research. To see the full report from C+R Research, visit https://www.crresearch.com/blog/2019-package-theft-statistics-report.