MINNEAPOLIS – If you're not careful this holiday shopping season, your packages could end up stolen.
Porch pirates around the Twin Cities have shown themselves to be brazen, coming at night or in the middle of the day. Sometimes they have an empty box to replace the package with.
Jettie Ann had a package stolen off her porch in Minneapolis within 10 minutes of delivery.
"Even receiving a reimbursement, I'm like just violated," Ann said. "Is somebody watching me? This has just never been a problem."
In fact, Ann had three packages taken during a two-week period this month.
"I do think it was probably someone scouting the neighborhood, even following the truck," she said.
Ann says she's done having packages left on her front step, which is one of the tips from Consumer Reports for avoiding package thefts.
CR also advises leaving detailed instructions for the delivery service and avoiding your home altogether if you can, using an office or secure Amazon Locker as a delivery location.
Cameras can also be a deterrent. Chuck Freiberg, who lives in south Minneapolis, has come up with an unconventional way to push back against thieves.
"I thought that I would do what came naturally: reduce, recycle and reuse my dog's feces," Freiberg said.
He baits would-be thieves, putting out empty boxes of dog poop on his porch.
"If America was to take this epidemic into their own hands, we can move the needle on porch pirates," he said.
Freiberg says his poop-filled boxes have been stolen 20 times, and he's lost two real packages too, but at least he's giving himself and his neighbors an extra laugh.
If you have a package stolen, the first thing to do is contact the retailer you ordered from. If that doesn't work, then go to the shipping company.
In some cases, you may need a police report to file a claim.
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