WFPD: How to protect your gifts from porch pirates

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - We are five weeks away from Christmas and a lot of Texoma families are taking their Christmas shopping online.

The Wichita Falls Police Department wants to remind online shoppers to keep a close eye on porch pirates as package thefts increase during the holiday season.

Most deliveries do not require a signature so packages are left on the front porch for all to see.

"We've seen in the past where an individual actually follows a mail carrier or UPS guy or a FedEx guy and wait for them to drop off the package at the door and when the guy leaves he comes and picks it up," Sgt. McClure said.

This an issue that is seen all year long but with the holidays the number of package thefts increase.

The police department would like to remind everyone of a few simple tips that online shoppers can do to keep them from becoming the next victim.

"You can have them hold it at the facility and you go pick it up which is ideal," Sgt. McClure said. "It may not be the most convenient but you know at least your package is going to be secure."

A signature upon delivery is also another option. This will ensure the package is not left at the front door.

Online shoppers can also request a specific drop off time and date to make sure someone will be there to accept the package or have your package be delivered to a relatives house or a neighbor.

One thing for sure is the police department does not want members of the community to intervene and try to prevent a crime.

"What we would like for individuals to do is to be a great witness," Sgt. McClure said.  "If you are able to take pictures then take pictures. If you can't take pictures then just get a good description. What do they look like? What are they wearing?"

Sgt. McClure is also reminding everyone to lock their cars every day and take those freshly bought gifts with them or hide them in the car so the crooks can't see them.

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