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Porch pirates are on the prowl for your Christmas gifts, here are tips to stop them

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 7:15 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 7:20 PM CST
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RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) - Cyber Monday is over, and shoppers have gotten some deals, but Ridgeland police warn you not to let those deals lead to steals.

Grinches are cruising neighborhoods waiting for those packages to arrive. One Ridgeland couple is now taking precautions after falling prey to porch pirates.

Tuesday, Stephanie Darden and her husband Remick were getting their Ridgeland home ready for Christmas. But three packages of decorations that the companies said were delivered last week were missing from their front porch. They believe they are the victims of porch pirates.

“And when they didn’t still show up, that’s when we contacted them, and they told us that it probably had been stolen,” said Remick Darden.”

“How is it possible right in daylight someone just come, and how do they know,” asked Stephanie Darden. “And how it is that it’s online and then they specifically know to get it.”

“It’s ‘tis the season, so to speak. These criminals know,” said Ridgeland Police Department Corporal Ryan Jungers.

The 13 year Ridgeland officer said patrols are increased in the city this time of year to stop porch pirates. He suggests knowing when your packages arrive and get your neighbors to be on the lookout and get them for you if possible.

Video doorbells and surveillance cameras help police catch them. Jungers said if expecting packages, here’s a year-round tip.

“There’s also different cases and storage boxes that you can buy,” said Jungers.” There’s different companies that sell them now that you can set on your porch that are lockable whether by combination or actual padlock”.

Police also suggest you be extra vigilant during the holidays.

“If you see something out of place, if you see a vehicle slow rolling through the neighborhood that looks out of place, please give us a call,” said Jungers.

“No matter what, we’re going to keep our holiday spirit and make sure our kids enjoy,” added Remick Darden.

UPS suggests customers sign up for the free UPS My Choice service, which sends an email alert when their package is scheduled to be delivered. It also allows customers to have the package delivered to a UPS Access Point location or left by the driver for example, in the shed in the back yard, or behind the garage.

UPS drivers can also enter that information into their handheld computers for future deliveries. They can also choose to have their deliveries sent to a relative or neighbor who is home during the day.

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