‘Tis the season for… porch pirates
Written by Robert D. Sollars
It doesn’t matter what you decide to call them, hooligans, thieves, scoundrels, ner’do wells, or rapscallions. Nor does it matter that they broke your heart, or the heart of a child, to steal your packages. The only fact that really matters is that they did, and probably never will be caught for the crime. They are Dr. Seuss’ personification of the Grinch because they will steal those one-of-a-kind packages meant for someone special…adult, child, or pet.
Santa Claus, this time of year, is played by FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Amazon. Untold millions of packages will be delivered by them and soon they will be joined by drone deliveries covering skies and porches everywhere. The estimates go as high as 3 billion packages being delivered before Christmas Eve, and the USPS still delivering on Christmas if necessary.
Imagine the look of utter disappointment, instead of joy & delight, on the face of that special someone, when on Christmas morning when that special gift they envisioned isn’t there, all because some porch pirate stole the gift, not to mention the enjoyment from them receiving it.
Worse still, is if a thief breaks your windows and requisitions those special one-of-a-kind gifts right out of your home from under the tree! This will generally occur the week, albeit weekends are worse, immediately prior to Christmas. And why do these miscreants do this? It’s usually fairly simple to explain.
They are generally too lazy to work for what they want. And what they can’t give as a gift they can pawn. Then they have money for the necessities in their miserable existence, cigarettes, liquor, and drugs. Yes, I know the argument of pressure to give a gift, but that just doesn’t hold much snow, just ice to those who lost the joy of giving and the look of unimaginable joy on a child’s or that special someone’s face.
In an effort to alleviate this holiday despair and anxiety for you, I have a few tips. Hopefully, this will allow you to avoid these pirates who want to ruin your Christmas by helping theirs, and causing more damage to your home by breaking in to take them;
- Have your packages shipped to your work address. This may not be possible, but it never hurts to ask the boss or supervisor. Just be sure to have a place to put them and take them home daily in case you have a thief at work. Better would be if you could take them to your vehicle whenever they arrive, although with productivity being shoved down everyone’s throats at this time of year…
- Ask a friend or relative to either stay at your home while you work or have the packages shipped to their address. If you live by yourself… alone, then possibly getting a box at the nearest UPS Store or similar place may be of benefit, even just for a couple of months of Christmas. However, I will also caution you, don’t close it too early, because some items may not arrive until well after Christmas, so you’ll want to ensure nothing gets sent back by mistake, especially if it is a gift for someone else.
- . Possibly a trusted neighbor could sign for your packages instead. But get their permission to ship the packages to their address. Leaving a note for the delivery person isn’t good enough; most are either unwilling or too busy to back up to deliver a package, in addition to thieves putting up false notes.
- Set up a surveillance camera on your front porch. This will show the criminals’ faces and what they did to steal that package and how lazy they are. Cameras are relatively inexpensive so ensure if you utilize this option that you get one that is hi-def. so facial features are easily recognizable. And another place to put a camera is focused on the street for vehicle description. There are also features in certain smartphones that allow them to be used for surveillance.
- While you don’t necessarily need someone like Mrs. Kravitz, of the 60s TV show Bewitched, have your neighbors be on the lookout for anyone or anything suspicious cruising the streets. Strange cars, people (walking the dog or new to the neighborhood), delivery trucks without any markings of service, and literally anything out of the ordinary.
- Try to install an alarm sensor that alerts you to someone on the porch. Whether you are at home or not, if it alerts you then you can slip on the camera and see who is there. And if you have a microphone as well, scare them away. There are several of these devices on the market and they allow you to answer the doorbell or alarm from anywhere with cell phone coverage.
- Don’t fall into a false sense of security by utilizing the package delivery companies to actually ensure the proper recipient signs for the package. It may not happen, even if the sender paid for the service. All package delivery services will take the money for the recipient to sign for the package. In the end, they can, and will, just leave it at the front door or on the porch if they can’t get into the building or no one is home to sign for it. Despite their denials, I’ve experienced this firsthand…several times.
I hope these tips will help to ensure that your packages are delivered on time and to the person they were bought for. No one wants their hard-earned gifts going to someone who doesn’t deserve them.
Watch for my tips on keeping your holiday safe from these rapscallions while shopping, on the way home, and while you’re at home.
Have any questions or comments? Drop me a line and ask! You can’t get an answer unless you do!
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