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Shopping online means more deliveries, risk for porch pirates

Retailers expect more shoppers to buy gifts online this holiday season, which means more home deliveries.

It also means “porch pirates.”

These thieves lurk, even following delivery vans, with hopes of stealing packages from people’s homes.

“We normally expect that these occurrences will go up as the holidays approach but we have not seen a spike yet,” Massillon Police Chief Jason Saintenoy said last week.

Columbus police were searching earlier this year for a man they believed was involved in stealing a package from a resident's doorstep.

More than 49 million Americans have had a package stolen in the past 12 months, bringing more than $2.4 billion in losses nationwide, according to a survey of more than 18,000 adults by the security tracking website Security.org.

“A huge part of this is the sheer volume of online shopping for Black Friday, etc.,” said Divya Sangameshwar, a consumer finance expert for ValuePenguin, a personal finance website, which conducted its own survey on home delivery thefts.

Divya Sangameshwar, a consumer finance specialist for ValuePenguin, a personal finance website with LendingTree, Inc.

A record 196.7 million Americans shopped this year in stores and online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insight and Analytics. That was an increase of nearly 17 million shoppers from 2021.

The survey said 42% of those shoppers bought gifts online.

“The volume of packages being delivered is probably going to be higher than usual, which increases your risk of being a victim of porch piracy,” Sangameshwar said.

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