Police give tips on protecting packages from porch pirates

MADISON, Wis. - Millions of packages, purchased online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are heading to doorsteps across the country. As eager as you may be for your presents to arrive, porch pirates are just as excited.

Business Wire estimates nearly 26 million Americans will have packages stolen this holiday season, and Madison police said it’s already happening. Porch pirates have hit homes in the east and central parts of town.

Police said porch pirating has been a problem in Madison in previous years, with at least one person following a delivery truck around town to scope out targets.

“We’re sort of getting the word out now for people to use good methodology in terms of getting packages to their home safely as we just passed Cyber Monday and we’re certain there will be more criminals out there looking for packages,” Joel DeSpain, Public Information Officer for the Madison Police Department, said.

To keep your packages safe, ask your carrier to leave your package in a specified location or request a signature. Some stores will receive deliveries for you to pick up at their nearest location to you. The U.S. Postal Service recommends considering using an alternate shipping address, such as your workplace or a neighbor who is home. 

If you're ordering through Amazon, Amazon Locker has locations around Madison you can ship to. 

“It’s really the giving time of year and when you’re out there trying to do something nice for someone else and somebody steals it, it really is disheartening for all of us involved in trying to prevent this crime from taking place,” DeSpain said.

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