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Westchester County’s Director of Shopper Safety, Mark Fang, talks about methods to guard your vacation deliveries.
John Meore/lohud

Internet buyers could also be feeling spoiled nowadays because of the ever-enhancing e-commerce expertise. 

However one unfastened finish stays: How you can securely obtain package deal deliveries, defending them from porch pirates notably in the course of the vacation season?

In line with a 2015 report by InsuranceQuote.com, 23 million Americans have had packages stolen from their homes before they could open them.

No local statistics are available on packages stolen from porches or doorsteps. But anecdotally, there’s an uptick in reports of package theft around the holidays because this type of crime is “opportunistic,” said Peekskill Police Chief Eric Johansen.

“When you increase opportunities, which is only natural in the holiday season, we can expect to see a rise in the incidents of theft,” he said. 

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Basic precautions 

The key to combat package thieves is to “try to gauge as best as possible when the package is expected to be delivered and be there or have someone pick up the package,” said Clarkstown Police Officer Peter Walker, adding that using a package tracking system available through shipping carriers or smartphone apps is always a good idea. 

Shari Pierce, 51, of Valley Cottage has been following the advice since her husband’s package — not a gift but his diabetes testing supplies came in a small box — was stolen from her doorstep during the holiday season last year.

Apparently, the thief soon realized what was inside and discarded the box a couple of blocks from her house, Pierce recalled.  

“What we do now is if we know our package is coming, we let our next-door neighbor know because we don’t always get home until a little bit later,” Pierce said. “He and his wife have been kind enough to see if we have a package and take it in for us until we get home. We use the buddy method.” 

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Mark Fang, Westchester County Director of Consumer Protection talks about ways to avoid package theft during the holiday season. Thursday, November 16, 2017. (Photo: John Meore/The Journal News)

Shipping companies’ tracking system is getting smarter. In addition to tracking packages, FedEx and UPS offer apps that let users manage and customize their deliveries, said Mark Fang, director of Westchester County’s Department of Consumer Protection. For additional fees, customers can reroute a package to a new address or reschedule the delivery at the last minute. 

“They are getting even more sophisticated,” Fang said of package tracking systems. “Consumers should take advantage of those tracking options.” 

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