Rip-Off Alert | Porch pirates ready to swipe holiday package deliveries

Holiday thieves are ready to swipe packages from your home this holiday season. Consumers are working to turn the tables on the criminals. (KSNV)

The holidays are just around the corner, so many consumers will be jumping online to do their shopping.

Holiday thieves also know this and are ready to swipe packages from your home. Consumers are working to turn the tables on the criminals.

“It was just before Christmas, and I ordered a gift, some sporting equipment,” said David Webb.

He was given the estimated date of arrival, but a few days later, he realized something was wrong.

So, he went online and learned it had been delivered at a specific date and time. Thieves had struck his San Diego home, but they didn't realize Webb had a secret of his own — he had installed a home surveillance camera system weeks earlier.

“Went to that date and time and, sure enough, I saw the package delivered,” Webb said. “I saw the postal carrier come on the property, drop off the box and leave.

“They promptly walked up our driveway up to the front porch, picked up the package, walked off the property.”

Webb took the video and posted it on a community website to warn his neighbors. He got a response in just a few hours.

“There are people in our neighborhood who said we recognize that person and, in fact, he lives on the same street where we live, which was stunning to us,” Webb said.

Webb immediately contacted police and postal inspectors. Evidence led to 20-year-old Javier Hanley, who lived in the neighborhood.

“They were interested in stealing what you had to see if they could use it,” Webb said. “It was very disheartening.”

Postal inspectors say if you are expecting a package and won't be home, arrange to have someone else pick it up.

“Put a hold on your mail for a day or two, especially if you are out of town,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Cory Bott.

Another option is to decide on a hiding place with your postal carrier.

“If you've got any type of shrubbery or something that can conceal the package on the porch, make that as a request on the delivery to have it concealed behind something,” Bott said.

You also can request that your package have someone sign for it. If you're not home, the carrier will not leave the package.

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