Porch pirates on the prowl this holiday season

Porch pirates on the prowl this holiday season

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - If you are skipping the crowded malls and stores this holiday season and opting for shopping online, you may want to beware of the danger after the delivery.

Package theft is more common than you may think.  According to a study by Blink, a video security company, there is a higher rate if you live in a rural area.

The October study found that here in Mississippi, package thefts is twice as likely than the national average.

"Don't ever think you cannot become a victim, that's when you become an easy target," said Captain Brandon McLemore with the Hattiesburg Police Department.

McLemore knows the topic of package theft around the holidays all too well.  He was a victim last year.

"I had something being delivered and actually, someone delivering to me, filling up my propane tank, actually stole my gifts off the front door steps,"  McLemore said.

While police departments can't promise your development or street is safe from these criminals, McLemore suggest relying on your neighbors for help.

"Always communicate with your neighbors, that's the number one and foremost thing," he said.

Investing in new outdoor cameras or a video security system can also help.  Whether it catches the criminal, with your package, in the act or deters them from your doorstep all together.

"If you could take extra resources, such as utilizing surveillance equipment, video cameras, take those," McLemore said.  "Don't ever think that you cannot become a victim."

You may also want to consider sending your package to your work and tracking the package to know the delivery time.  Many delivery companies also offer customers the option of a signature on delivery.