Help Me Hank: Protect your packages from porch pirates

Online shopping expected to hit record highs

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DETROIT – Consumer investigator Hank Winchester has some tips and tricks on how to make sure all the gifts end up wrapped and under the tree this holiday season instead of snatched up by porch pirates.

Police are always on the lookout for thieves, but porch pirates are sneaky, fast and often hard to track down.

Online shopping is set to hit record numbers this year. Shelby Township police believe that could mean a record number of thefts.

Help Me Hank has some tips to keep packages safe:

  • Schedule delivery of packages at a time when someone will be home.
  • If someone can't be home during delivery, have packages delivered to a different address, or your office.
  • Under the shipping preferences, ask for the delivery person to put your package in a specific hiding spot.
  • Get an app, like Arrive, that lets you track the shipping of the package so you can be alerted when it arrives.

Retired Detroit police Detective Tom Berry said he started a neighborhood watch to keep an eye out for porch pirates.

You could also have the package delivered to a  local store or an Amazon locker that can be found at your local Whole Foods store. In that situation, a code is sent to you, and you can pick up the package on your timeline.

Surveillance cameras are also a good idea. However, once thieves strike, your package is gone, and the thief can be hard to track down.

See Hank Winchester's full story in the video above.

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