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CCPD shares tips to avoid theft, being accused of it

Posted at 11:41 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 23:41:58-05

CAPE CORAL, FL — Christmas can now come to your doorstep, with just a click of a mouse.

And in a year like 2020, we're bound to see many more gifts coming from delivery workers, instead of Santa.

But all of that online cheer, also attracts the kind of people who should probably be getting a lump of coal.

So what's the number one way to protect your stuff from porch pirates?

"You can schedule your deliveries for a time when you're gonna be home," said Master Corporal Phil Mullen with the Cape Coral Police Department.

Cape Coral PD says if you can't be there, you should arrange to pick it up yourself or have someone you trust do it for you.

And before you call them to report a theft, you've got to make sure it was actually delivered to your house first.

"We can't do much about it, if we have no proof it ever made it there," said Mullen.

But what happens if your package goes to the wrong address? And instead of porch pirate, you're just an annoyed customer?

It's a scenario that happens more often than you think.

Just this week, a woman seen picking up a package in a Cape Coral neighborhood was mistakenly identified as a porch pirate. But a short time later, we learned it was really her stuff that was accidentally sent to an old address.

Cape Coral PD says if you can't get the shipping information changed in time, you should do your best to contact the people living there immediately.

"Let them know "Hey, I was the previous owner or tenant, I lived here, and I shipped a package here would you mind either letting me know when it gets here or so I can come pick it up?' or something to that effect," said Mullen.

Police say that's the best way to make sure picking up a package at a wrong address is safe for you...And others.

"Try to make sure that they know who you are and why you're coming back to your old residence."

For a full list of tips to prevent package theft, you can click here and here.