Tips for preventing package thefts at your home this holiday season

Officials warn of holiday package thieves

Help Me Hank: Hiding holiday deliveries from porch pirates

DETROIT – Last year, more than 11 million packages were stolen off of front porches, and 75% of those thefts happened while homeowners were at work, experts said.

Residents who have several packages coming to their doorstep become targets. Last week, a Clinton Township homeowner caught a porch pirate on her security cameras.

To protect your packages from that fate, start by signing up for text, email and app notifications. Packages are scanned every step of the process, even when they’re a mile away.

As you’re hitting the checkout button, put a note outlining delivery preferences for drivers. In the delivery options, you can also mark the option to require a signature with the package.

Packages can be sent to friends or neighbors. You can find out if your workplace allows for personal deliveries.

Cameras don’t stop thefts, but they make it easier to catch thieves afterward. Smart locks allow residents to unlock and lock their doors from a phone.

If none of those options are viable, choose a pickup location, such as an Amazon locker. Some carriers allow customers to choose a store such as Walgreens or Kroger, as well.

These tips might sound like common sense, but they’re important to protect your property this holiday season.

You can hear more in Hank Winchester’s video above.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.