Lehigh Valley

Discover ways to combat porch pirates this holiday

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - 'Tis the season for porch pirates, or people who steal packages from porches.

The Lehigh Valley isn't immune from this kind of theft.

According to Shorr Packaging, a nationwide packing solutions company, 31 percent of packages delivered to doorsteps are stolen.

One case in Allentown was caught on camera.

Melissa Schneck says she is used to seeing kids walk through her Turner Street neighborhood every day after school, so she rarely thinks anything of it.

"But when the group ran that's when it caught my eye," said Schneck.

Schneck checked her security camera footage and describes what she saw:

"Here you can see they see the box and they are trying to figure out who's going to take it. And sure it could've been a dare but it's not a very nice dare," said Schneck.

Dare or not, law enforcement officials nationwide say these kinds of thefts jump during the holiday season.

The alleged perpetrators are known as porch pirates and there are ways to prevent them from stealing your loot.

First, you can have your package delivered to your work or to a drop box like UPS access point. There are several in the Lehigh Valley.

You can also require a signature so the package is not left unattended or have the package left with a neighbor.

If a package is stolen, file a theft complaint with the carrier and call police.

While security cameras won't guarantee a package won't get stolen, it will give police something to go on.

Lastly, check to see if the credit card used to purchase the item has theft insurance. Some will cover your loss.

As for the alleged package pilfering on Turner street, Schneck says the box was found open in an alley around the corner.

She says some of the kids were identified after she posted the video to the "Let's Build the New Allentown Together" Facebook page.

"I want people to see what's going on that if they're having packages delivered, this is what's going on," said Schneck.

Schneck says she handed the video over to the authorities and they are now handling the issue.

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