BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — More and more people are doing their holiday shopping online, and Americans spent a record $11.3 billion Cyber Monday shopping this year.
While the convenience of ordering gifts from your couch is hard to resist, make sure you are prepared for when your packages arrive.
For starters, take the initiative to track your package so you know when to expect it. Then, have a plan in place to retrieve it.
“You can either get away from work, go home and do that if you’ve worked that out with your boss or you can go home at lunch the quickest you can and pick that package up because they are looking for packages,” Bay County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Ruth Corley said. “They’re driving neighborhoods and they’re looking and they’re scoping out houses to see who has packages on the front porch and then they just quietly go up and get them.”
Another line of defense is the popular Ring doorbell cameras.
“If you have a Ring camera there at your door or facing the front of your home in some way, you can keep track of who’s coming and going,” Corley said. “Some of them allow you to talk or set off an alarm that may deter the porch pirate, but sometimes you just watch them walk away with your stuff. But at least you can call law enforcement immediately and get a deputy in that area and you can possibly describe the vehicle that they came in that could help as well.”
Corley also said don’t advertise that you got flashy gifts for Christmas, as it can make you a target for burglars.
“Don’t leave the boxes that show everybody what you got out in front of your house to be picked up by the garbage company,” Corley said. “You want no one to know that you got that fantastic 75-inch TV or a new computer.”
Corley said to cut the boxes up, put the pieces in a trash bag, and place the bag in your garbage can.
If you are going to be out of town for a time this holiday season, Corley said you can call dispatch and a deputy will do a daily check of your home.