If you are like me, you have probably already started your Christmas shopping. I know, some have already finished. Lucky you. But many of us will be browsing for just the right gifts for those special folks in our lives. I will try to do most of my shopping local. But I will probably order some things online.

This new study does have me concerned, though. This Safewise report shows 3 in 4 Americans have been victims of porch pirates. And in just the last year, more than 200 million packages have been stolen from in front of homes in the U.S. The price tag for these thefts? More than $19 billion dollars.

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A report from Security.org says 17% of Louisiana residents have been a victim of package thieves in the past year and the average loss is about $35 dollars in the Bayou State.

Will Your Package Be Replaced?

Most companies will replace your stolen item. But you do need to know the policies ahead of time. Amazon will replace stolen items it you report it within 90 days. You can get a refund of up to $2,500. Many other retailers will do the same. But check the fine print before you order.

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Are Porch Pirates Prosecuted?

This is part of the problem. Stealing packages from your front porch is a crime of opportunity and very few of these thieves are ever caught. If you don’t have a security system with video, police will have very little evidence to track. But even when police do have video of the thief, the punishment is very minimal if the bad guys are caught.

The value of the packages is typically very low. The packages stolen are typically valued between  $50 and $100 dollars.

These crimes are up by more than 20% from a year ago and the numbers climb dramatically during the holiday season.

Here’s the List of the Metro Areas with the Most Package Thefts:

  1. San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose, California
  2. Seattle – Tacoma, Washington
  3. Austin, Texas
  4. Hartford – New Haven, Connecticut
  5. Sacramento – Stockton – Modesto, California
  6. Los Angeles, California
  7. Portland, Oregon
  8. Fresno – Visalia, California
  9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  10. New Orleans, Louisiana
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What Can You Do to Stop Porch Pirates?

Shreveport Police and other law enforcement agencies say the best thing you can have is to install a camera on your home. That will deter many thieves from targeting your residence.

Another helpful tip is to sign up for delivery alerts so you will know exactly when your package arrives and you can grab it or get a neighbor to get it for you.

You could also sign up for delivery only with a signature. This means you have to be home to sign for the package or it won’t be delivered.

Some online retailers will let you opt for daytime delivery only. This is a good option and could help keep thieves at bay.

Another way to avoid being a victim is to have your items delivered to a store which offers pick up service. The Whole Foods Store in Shreveport serves as an Amazon Hub.

What Do You Do if a Package Is Stolen?

File a police report and be sure to let the officers know if you have security footage of the theft.

Notify the seller. Many will send out a new item.

You should also contact the delivery service. FedEx, UPS and the USPS offer online ways to file theft reports.

Great Holiday Events Around Shreveport and Bossier City

There are so many great holiday events to check out all around the region.

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