How to protect your UPS packages from porch pirates this holiday season

(NEWS10) — Now that you’ve scored your Cyber Monday deal, get ready because the packages are on their way and the thieves looking to take them off your porch might be too.

First tip and an easy one, have those packages delivered right to work.

An estimated 122 million people planned to shop Cyber Monday sales online, but when those packages arrive, they’ve seen time and time again what can happen if they’re left unattended.

Call them the Grinch, thieves, or porch pirates. They strike when no one is home and swipe packages left on your front doorstep in broad daylight.

“It’s scary,” said online shopper Richard Kelvey. He has seen videos of those thieves in the act.

“I’ve heard stories [from] friends of mine that [their packages] have become missing, but we haven’t had a problem in my neighborhood,” Kelvey said.

Major carriers like UPS have some tips to keep your packages safe this holiday season.

You can access My Choice through their website or on your phone app, and they’ll send you an email or text alert before your package is set to arrive. You can also write in instruction to leave it at a side door, your neighbor’s house, or a UPS access point.

Access point locations are dry cleaners, convenience stores, and UPS store locations.

Major carriers also recommend tracking where your shipment is.

“I usually track it and find out what time they’re going to deliver it [and] what day,” Kelvey said.

If you don’t want to take any chances, you could go the high-tech route and have a home security camera installed, one that’s wireless and will sync to your phone so when someone approaches the door, you’ll know right away even if you aren’t home.

It’s something some online shoppers have considered.

“We do know a number of people use home surveillance cameras to have the visibility of when someone approaches their front door,” said a UPS employee.

UPS projects the number of packages they deliver will go up 14 percent this holiday season, meaning during their busiest time of the year, they’ll be handling 30 million packages a day.

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