BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The number of Americans who choose to buy their Christmas gifts online increases every year. As that number goes up, so do the amount of porch pirates, looking for easy-to-steal packages on your doorstep.

Lieutenant Dave Allard with the Beckley Police Department said there are a number of things you can do to prevent Christmas crime including: scheduling deliveries, using a doorbell camera, and tracking as much information about your package as possible.

“They all offer the ability to hold the package at an offsite location, some of them have started holding them at various shopping centers or stores that make it really convenient you can actually pick it up way later,” Allard said.

Allard said investigating these Christmas crimes depends on how much information they are able to get.
If your package does get stolen, he said providing every detail possible like the tracking number and delivery updates can help lead a successful investigation. When police investigate stolen packages, they can use surveillance video and interviews with neighbors to figure out exactly what happened.

“The more information the person, the victim, is able to give us, the more information we are able to get from the provider and hopefully surveillance video,” Allard said. “We have been successful in most endeavors at recovering the package or at least finding the person responsible for it.”

Allard said stolen packages are not unique to the holiday season and it’s better to stay on the safe side when shopping online and waiting for any package to arrive.

“It is very important,” Allard said. “I mean, there is nothing I can imagine much worse than a child waking up on Christmas morning not having something you purchased for them because someone stole it off of their porch.”