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Police offer up tips to deter ‘porch pirates’ ahead of holiday season

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    WOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) — Christmas is more than two months away, but police say porch pirates are already targeting their neighbors’ deliveries.

Unfortunately, package thefts are no longer only a problem during the holidays.

“The thing is now people, for the most part, are buying things online, so this isn’t just for Christmas time, this is year-round how to protect your packages,” said Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens.

While these thefts happen throughout the year, the frequency increases as the calendar creeps towards the holidays, and potential targets are everywhere.

“A lot of these criminals, what they’ll do, they’ll either follow a UPS truck, they’ll follow a mail truck,” Stephens said. “We’ve had people say they’ll just drive around the neighborhoods and they’re looking.”

Thanks to increasingly inexpensive technology, more and more of the thieves are getting caught on camera as homeowners are striking back.

Stephens also said people should always look up delivery tracking numbers, so they know when packages arrive.

If you can’t be home for the delivery, ask a friend to grab it or if possible, get it shipped your office.

Doorbell systems with cameras also serve as a great deterrent.

“The word is out people know the Ring doorbell. I think they’re more hesitant to actually go if they notice that type of doorbell,” Stephens said.

In Meriden, police released pictures of a woman on Monday that they say stole two boxes that had been dropped off outside a home on Harness Drive.

For those who might be sending gifts through the mail, be sure to tell the person you’re sending it to so they can let you know when it arrives.

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