Tuesday Tip: Protect Yourself From Porch Pirates

Tuesday Tip: Protect Yourself From Porch Pirates

By Yehudit Garmaise

With Chanukah a little more than three weeks away, Boro Park residents should take more precautions than ever to ensure their packages don’t get stolen.

To prevent packages from getting snatched by thieves, residents can protect themselves from porch piracy in the following ways:

1. Ask your building’s manager or super to put locks on mail room doors and give keys to the mail carrier, so packages can be delivered inside locked rooms, 66th Precinct Neighborhood Community Officer Karol Smiarowski suggested.

2. Establish an agreement with a trusted friend or neighbor who works at home, to accept your packages in person.

3. Request shippers to hold your packages at a pickup facility, such as Amazon Locker, Amazon Counter, or other pickup facilities, that allow customers to stop by at their convenience. UPS, for example, allows customers to direct their packages to local stores to hold and store packages until customers have a chance to pick them up.

4. Request specific delivery dates and times for when you know you for sure will be at home to receive your packages advised Boro Park Shomrim. The longer your packages remain outside your door, the greater the chances that your orders can disappear. 

5. Rent a mailbox at shops, such as FedEx Office Print & Ship Center, the UPS Store, Express Line Services, Outside the Box Shipping, and City Mailroom to ensure your packages and mail are safely locked away and not left on the street.

6. Ship packages to your office, if your employer does not mind. 

7. Take advantage of the “Additional Notes” feature on Amazon, on which customers can request mail carriers to ring or not ring the doorbell, or to leave packages in specific locations.

8. Consider whether you have a hidden location outside your home that remains out of the view of passersby on the street. A backyard, a shed, a back door, or even greenery might provide safe places for delivery people to leave packages.

9. Install cameras, and make sure they are working properly, so you can identify any perpetrators and trespassers. 

10. Call 911 for any neighborhood problem, “large or small,” Officer Smiarowski said as a last resort. Otherwise, “residents should work together, and be smart to protect themselves.”

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