Detective Corner

Knowledge is power! The Frederick Police Department detectives keep the community up to date on crime prevention. 

Porch Pirate Prevention

Don’t let the Grinch ruin your Christmas! This holiday season has again shown us that the crime of “porch pirate” is still an issue and worsens as we stay indoors, shop online and rely on package deliveries. Your Frederick Police Department urges you to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim. Porch piracy is a crime of opportunity but is also easily preventable. 

The FPD’s six tips for package theft prevention:

1. Arrange to have your packages delivered to a safe location such as your workplace or the home of a trusted neighbor or friend who is more likely to be home. Most services now include a delivery option when ordering. You can choose where you would prefer to have your items delivered. Be sure to at least request a location hidden from view from the road or sidewalk. Most "pirates" drive through neighborhoods, searching from their vehicles for packages sitting on the porch to commit this opportunistic crime.  

2. Purchase a large delivery lock box to place at a chosen location. Make sure it is anchored down. These specifically designed boxes are even available from at least one known local company.  

3. Choose a shipping option that requires a signature for delivery so that someone has to be present when delivered.

4. Request the shipping company to have your items held at their facility when you opt to pick them up.

5. Opt to track your item's delivery so you can limit the time your item is on your porch and is vulnerable to theft.

6. Purchase a doorbell with a camera or similar security camera set with the motion-sensing features. These systems can prompt an immediate reply comment to deter the potential theft from following through, i.e., "you are on camera; can I help you" or something similar. Or have your camera set to notify your cellphone to communicate activity to you.

Porch piracy and vehicle trespasses (residents leaving their vehicles unlocked) are the best examples of commonly preventable opportunistic crime. Fighting this increasingly prevalent crime and most other crimes is best met with citizens working in partnership with the Police. 

The Frederick Police Department wants to wish you a safe and happy holiday season!