VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Beware of Holiday Heists, Porch Pirates Are on the Prowl
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—With the holiday season in full swing, porch pirates are on the prowl. Attorney General Ashley Moody is issuing a Consumer Alert urging Floridians to stay vigilant and take precautions against the rising threat of holiday heists. According to recent reports, 44 million Americans have had a package stolen in the last three months, with the average value of the stolen items amounting to $50. With many consumers online shopping for the holidays, opportunistic thieves are targeting unattended packages left on doorsteps.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “With Christmas around the corner, I urge Floridians to beware of holiday heists. With the influx of consumers online shopping and deliveries piling up in front of Floridians’ homes, thieves may try to steal the packages. By taking simple precautions like tracking packages and scheduling deliveries wisely, Floridians can help make sure their items don’t end up in the wrong hands.”
Attorney General Moody offers the following tips to Floridians to help avoid holiday heists:
- Track Packages: Use package tracking services provided by delivery companies to stay informed about the status and expected delivery time of your packages;
- Schedule Deliveries: Whenever possible, schedule deliveries for a time when someone will be home to receive them. Alternatively, consider using delivery lockers or requesting packages to be held at a nearby distribution center;
- Install Security Cameras: Consider installing security cameras to deter potential thieves and provide valuable evidence in case of a theft;
- Neighborhood Watch: Collaborate with neighbors to keep an eye on each other's homes and report any suspicious activity to local authorities; and
- Require Signatures: Opt for delivery options that require a signature upon receipt, ensuring that packages are handed directly to the intended recipient.
A recent story from Polk County features a thief caught on camera stealing packages off of local porches and later arrested by law enforcement. Attorney General Moody encourages Floridians to report any instances of porch piracy to local law enforcement and reminds anyone looking to steal packages that it is a criminal offense punishable by law.
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