DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Police are searching for a suspect who stole a package off a porch, and with the holidays approaching, we’re talking with experts on how to keep your deliveries safe.
With the popularity of online shopping since the pandemic, experts said porch pirates are becoming more common.
Surveillance camera footage caught an older man on a bicycle with a trailer taking a package off a porch in the 500 block of East Second Street in Dayton on November 13.
Neighbors 2 NEWS spoke to said it’s not the first time packages and other belongings have been stolen from their street in recent months.
John North, Dayton Better Business Bureau president and CEO, said as more people shop online, there’s more opportunities for porch pirates.
“We know now not just because it’s the holiday shopping season, but also because Americans have gotten used to shopping online,” North said.
North provided some tips for those who are shopping online this holiday season to protect deliveries.
First, track your package and know it’s expected delivery date.
Second, let a neighbor or family member know to keep an eye out if a package will be delivered when you’re not home.
“The longer it’s there, the more opportunity that someone has to steal your package,” North said.
North said you can set up delivery preferences through the carrier to leave a package at a different door or concealed location, or rent a package drop box.
North said it’s also a good idea to purchase insurance for shipping an item.
Finally, he said consider installing security cameras on your home.
“Security cameras used to be expensive and hard to install, they’re relatively easy now with other competitors out there,” North said.
North said consumers should use extra care when online shopping, make sure that the website is secure and has a lock icon by the web address before entering any credit card or personal information.
North also warned of text or email scams that say an item has been shipped, when nothing has been purchased. He said the fake tracking information on those messages is likely phishing for personal information.
“There’s no package associated with it, but they’re going to ask personal information, and that personal information, they could use to steal your identity,” North said.
If you have a delivered package stolen from your home, contact your local police department. If you think you have been affected by a scam, contact the Better Business Bureau.