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Fox Carolina's Jarvis Robertson has the latest on how you can stay safe from "porch pirates" during this holiday season

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - Once the turkey has been gobbled up and sweet potato pie is put away, a lot Americans will begin their holiday shopping.

But there’s something you need to remember if you’re doing online shopping: Porch pirates.

Because of the pandemic more people may be choose to get some of their deals on the internet.

Police say, “It’s the crime of opportunity.”

This crime will leave you empty-handed and upset. Porch pirates will swiftly move in and take your package without a moment’s notice.

“Use to be something that we got hit hard with in the city. Luckily, this year, we’ve only had three so far,” said Sergeant Jonathan Bragg with the Greenville Police Department. “Because all the sales happen in the store, and whatnot; and people are out ordering more stuff on cyber Monday and Black Friday.”

So, this is prime season for criminals to be on the prowl.

“A lot of people will just drive around, and if they see the packages on the sidewalk, in the driveway, or next to the door they’ll just take that opportunity to run up and grab it,” he said.

Police say it’s best to know when your packages will be delivered and to be home at that time.

“If they can’t ensure that, get it delivered to their place of work; or get it delivered to a locker of some sorts. I know a lot of places are doing that, a lot of delivery services are doing that,” he said.

A lot of times porch pirate victims have doorbell cameras, which helps with solving their cases. “Those are helping us out when we do have the cases come up. They have great footage of suspects coming up and grabbing the packages," Bragg noted.

Here’s a problem with package theft, if you fall prey then chances of you getting your items back are slim to none.

“What we see is that people will get rid on it; they’ll either sell it or trade it for something else pretty quickly. We do arrests a lot of the people but usually we don’t find the package after we made the arrest,” Bragg said.

Some more tips from GPD: be smart about online purchases and be less obvious about packaging. This will help lessen your chances of getting packages poached.

Copyright 2020 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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