Law enforcement provides tips to protect your packages from porch pirates

Porch pirates

RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - This holiday season, keep an eye out for porch pirates coming for boxes. As Santa brings you gifts this year, watch out for a potential Grinch.

“They’ll cruise these subdivisions and apartment complexes, look for packages on the front porch and they’ll go steal them," said Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey.

Porch pirates strike across the country often, some even follow the postal trucks and take the boxes without knowing what’s inside. The sheriff said it has happened in Rankin County.

“Knock on wood, it’s been quiet here lately but a couple months ago, 6 months ago, we had a rash of them. And with the holidays coming up, I can see it happening again,” he said.

You can use the tracking services from the parcel service to know where your package has gone. The sheriff suggests mailing it to a place where someone is sure to receive it.

“If you’re busy, and if your employer will allow you, that’s the safest thing to do -- is to have it delivered where somebody can actually receive the package and put it up for you,” said Bailey.

Security cameras are also a useful tool and have helped Bailey’s deputies catch people in the past, and those who do the crime will receive more than a lump of coal for the holidays.

“If it’s less than a thousand dollars it’s going to be a misdemeanor which will go through a process in justice court. If it’s above a thousand dollars, it would be a felony through the DA’s office in circuit court," said Bailey.

It’s also a good idea to sign up for delivery alerts.

UPS, FedEx, the United States Postal Service and DHL will notify you through text or email to let you know that your package has been delivered.

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