SPRINGFIELD, MO (11/24/17) - It’s earned the name ‘porch pirates’. I know it sounds silly, but it’s a serious crime that could just ruin your holidays.
A report from insuranceQuotes.com shows that an estimated 23 million Americans have had packages stolen from their homes.
“We do expect an increase in packages being stolen off of front porches just because the likelihood is higher," says Lisa Cox from the Springfield Police Department.
The United Parcel Service has estimated that they will deliver 630 million packages between Black Friday and New Years. With a family spending, on average, $600 per child in their home.
But just how easy is this type of theft? Cox says it's "Very easy, it’s similar to stealing things from people’s vehicles.”
So while you’re out shopping around, Grinch's are stalking parking lots looking for some holiday goodies.
“People work hard for their money and go buy gifts," says Black Friday shopper Marsha Crisp. "They don’t want people going around taking their stuff and stealing it."
Cox says criminals will target parking lots of shopping areas because they can get to a large amount of vehicles in a small amount of time.
So how do we protect our purchases that are in our vehicles? “We feel safer having everything in the trunk. You know if they’re in the backseat people can see what you have in your vehicle and be more likely to break in," says another shopper Nikki Crownover.
If you’re one to do online shopping, officials say use email or text notification on deliveries so you can track your packages as they move from one town to the next.
Experts say if you can’t do online shopping and you physically have to go to a store, make sure you put your packages in the trunk and lock your doors.