Thefts increase at holidays, experts urge precautions

Morning In America

(NewsNation Now) — As the holiday delivery season ramps up, security experts say they expect to see even more porch pirates on the rise attempt these brazen crimes.

According to security.org, a home security dealer,  49 million Americans have had a total of more than $2.4 billion worth of goods stolen in just the past 12 months. It surveyed more than 18,000 people in the U.S. and found 15 percent of North Carolinians have had a package stolen — putting the state on the lower end of the spectrum — with a median value of $50.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has accelerated online shopping. But with shopping convenience comes an opportunity for those with sticky fingers.

According to research by security.org, porch pirate activity has grown during the pandemic, spiking during last year’s gift-giving season.

The average cost of a stolen package is about $50.

Experts say where you live might have an impact on how frequently you can get ripped off.

Highest cities for package theft rates, according to security.org:

  • Alaska – 29%
  • Delaware – 27%
  • Nevada – 27%
  • New York – 27%
  • Rhode Island – 25%
  • Hawaii – 25%
  • West Virginia – 25%

Lowest cities for packages theft rates

  • Maine – 12%
  • Wisconsin – 13%
  • Alabama – 14%
  • Georgia – 14%
  • South Carolina – 14%
  • New Mexico – 14%
  • South Dakota – 14%

By far, the most commonly stolen packages come from Amazon, more than half of all reported thefts.

So what can you do to avoid joining the roughly 20% of Americans who will have a package stolen from them this year?

  • Install home security cameras or doorbell camera
  • Use post office boxes or the Amazon Locker service
  • Have packages shipped to your office, not your house, or use another alternate location
  • Schedule deliveries for when you’ll be home or request signature delivery
  • Ask your neighbor to pick up packages

NewsNation affiliate WNCN contributed to this report.

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