This holiday: plan ahead to protect against porch pirates

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia – In the time of COVID-19, many Nova Scotians are doing their holiday shopping online. Potential thieves (“Porch pirates”, as they are sometimes known) ‘arrrrrrrrr’ looking to take advantage by stealing unattended deliveries.

The good news is that by planning ahead, you can protect those important presents you bought with your hard-earned money.

“The best way to prevent theft is to make your stuff difficult to steal,” says Cst. Michael Alford of the Nova Scotia RCMP. “In the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in online shopping and think less about what will happen when the packages arrive. It’s important to take steps to keep those deliveries safe.”

How to protect against porch pirates:

Consider the best address for delivery. It doesn’t have to be your home if you won’t be there. Consider other options, like sending it to work or a friend or relative who is home during the day.

Request signature confirmation. This means that someone needs to accept and sign for the delivery and the package won’t be left unattended. You can do this by contacting the sender.

Ask for the package to be left out of plain view (at the side or back door rather than the front, for example). You can request this in the “delivery instructions” on some websites or by contacting the seller or delivery company.

Porch Pirate
(File Photo) Porch Pirate

If you were planning to be home for a delivery but unexpectedly have to leave, call the delivery company and ask to make other arrangements.

Ask a neighbour who is home during the day to bring your package inside when it arrives.

If you have the means, you may want to look into investing in some equipment, like a parcel drop box, security cameras or a video doorbell.

Report theft or suspicious activity to police immediately.

This all may seem overwhelming, especially for people who rarely shop online. If you feel like you don’t know where to start, you may want to contact the company or organization you’re considering ordering from and ask about shipping options. You may also want to ask for help from a friend or family member who shops online regularly.

We will be sharing more tips on preventing theft of deliveries via social in the coming weeks. Follow along at Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia on Facebook and @RCMPNS on Twitter using the hashtag #ProtectYourPresents.

Best wishes for a holiday season without porch pirates; one that is more “yo-ho-ho” and less “yo-woe-woe”.

Nova Scotia RCMP

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