HELENA — As you take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, there is a type of criminal waiting to take advantage of unattended packages left outside your home—porch pirates.
“These crimes are crimes of opportunity,” Helena Police Department Sgt. Bryan Haven said. “They’re going to be driving down the street and if they see the package, then they’re going to seize the opportunity.”
Haven suggested some steps people can take to protect their packages.
Check your tracking information and try and be home when a package arrives. If that is not possible, ask someone to pick the package up for you so it’s not sitting outside.
Parcel delivery boxes can also be bought and put outside a home so packages can be securely delivered.
Haven said even just asking the mail carrier to conceal the package when dropping it off can deter theft.
If your porch is plundered, there is information that you can gather that will help the police.
Tell them what was in your package—that way they can keep an eye out to see if your items are being re-sold somewhere.
Also, make a report.
“There’s nothing wrong with reporting it to us,” Haven said. “At a minimum, it gives us an idea of where these crimes are being committed in town.”
Give police a description of the suspect and vehicle, if you have it. Any security footage is also helpful.
“Just the smallest details can help us solve these crimes,” Haven said.