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With millions of packages shipped for Christmas, police warn against porch pirates

Officials say preventative measures, good neighbors and a camera can help prevent you from becoming a victim.

PHOENIX — All this week thousands of packages are being shipped and delivered just in time for Christmas. It is also a prime season for porch pirates as more packages sit on front porches around the country. 

“He just bent over, picked up the package and scurried away like the scared little criminal he is,” Joe Durkin said. 

Just over a week ago, Durkin's camera caught a porch pirate taking a package in broad daylight. 

“There are no words to describe how frustrating it is. You are a law-abiding citizen and you try to do everything you can, be as careful as you can and then these people just take your stuff."

It’s a frustration that’s all too common.

According to C+R, 43% of respondents to a recent survey had a package stolen from them, up from 36% one year ago. 

Videos have gone viral on creative ways to get back at porch pirates, like booby-trapped glitter bombs.

“While it’s happening, yeah it’s hard to stop but if someone can capture a video or a picture of somebody,” Lt. Jason Kaufman with Prescott Valley police said. 

Kaufman said simple steps of prevention can keep you from being a victim. Kaufman said if you are still working in an office, to get the package delivered there. If you will not be home, get the package delivered to a neighbor who will be, and track your packages. 

Police also recommend looking out for neighbors and potentially investing into a video doorbell. Both can provide vital evidence needed to pursue a case. 

“Sometimes there are no leads and nothing to follow up on. At that point it becomes an insurance claim,” Kaufman said.

Durkin tried to take the right steps but was still a victim. He said he is lucky that a missing package will not make that big of a difference in his life. However he still wants the man who robbed him caught, as Durkin said he believes the man is likely to strike again. 

“This is not person-specific it is not economic standing specific, this happens to everyone,“ Durkin said. "I don’t want it to happen to other people."

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