Like lots of folks, I find myself purchasing more and more items online rather than from traditional "brick and mortar" stores. The boom in packages being delivered has also started a trend in "porch picking" thieves who are taking these unsecured deliveries from the porches of victims. There was a piece over at the Boston Globe that looked at these types of thefts.
The dismal state of the economy - and the uptick in online shopping and shipping - seems to be making conditions ripe for porch-picking.
“There seems to be more of a rash this year,’’ said Quincy Police Captain John Dougan, who considers the thefts crimes of opportunity.
An October consumer survey found that nearly 47 percent of consumers intended to do at least some of their shopping online, up from 44 percent last year, the National Retail Federation reported. That makes for plenty of deliveries: The United Parcel Service, alone expects to deliver some 120 million packages this week - with its peak day exceeding a normal day’s volume by 60 percent, said Ronna Branch, UPS spokeswoman.
Even in the sleepy little burg where I work, I've noticed a few more incidents of these types of thefts lately.
The solution to this crime problem is likely going to lie in encouraging potential victims to better protect themselves by taking some common sense precautions if they are expecting a package to be delivered such as have the items delivered to their workplace or requesting that the package be held at the delivery terminal. Insuring purchases or expensive items can save them from taking a hit should their item get stolen.
Has your agency seen an increase in "porch picking"? What strategies have you found to be most effective in combatting these types of thefts?