Tips on preventing package theft

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:47 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The holidays are here and you have the staples: food, decorations, and packages.

But packages can lead to heartache, when they’re not at your doorstep as expected.

Cases of stolen packages, or “porch pirates” have been steadily rising over the years.

This season, local officials are reminding folks to be vigilant.

Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley has some tips to help prevent it from happening to you.

“Keeping the front porch clear and visible so that there’s a unobstructed view from the roadway or whatever. So there’s no place for a porch pirate to hide as they’re thinking of stealing your package, asking the company to use nondescript packaging. Instead of being the big fancy Amazon box perhaps it’ll be just a regular plain cardboard box. They’re really just a half a dozen the things that can help minimize your chances of being a victim,” Greeley said. “Package theft is a real concern. In 2017 roughly 26 million people had packages stolen from their porches, mailboxes.”

Bangor Police Sergeant Jason McAmbley also suggests ways to keep an eye out for those packages.

“If you can time your package delivery so that when you’re home or you can call the delivery company say I’ll come and pick it up or enlist your neighbors. You can do that too and just try to make it a little less tempting,” McAmbley said.

But, he added that there are ways to keep an eye out, even if you’re not home.

“If you want to spend a little bit of money and invest in some surveillance cameras ring doorbells are fantastic along with some of the other competing companies. They provide some really good images and you want something that’s going to get somebody that’s coming up on your porch as opposed to we’ve seen the ones that are over the door. We’ve caught a lot of people based on the doorbell cameras just because a lot of the people that do it are known to us and we show the picture around and somebody says, ‘oh, that’s so and so.’ And you know what right where to find them,” McAmbley said.