Retired Cop Guides Homeowners On Preventing Package Theft

A retired police officer has shared tips for homeowners to make sure packages and holiday gifts sent to them are protected from “porch pirates.”

Porch pirates have been a nuisance across the United States for years, having stolen packages belonging to millions of Americans this year. Such theft is expected to surge this holiday season with the rise in gifts, but with the application of solutions shared by retired officer Dennis Farris, residents can make sure their holiday gifts never end up in the wrong hands.

Farris, who is now president of the Austin Police Retired Officers Association, told Fox News Digital that the “Amazon Key” system that allows Amazon delivery agents to drop packages inside the recipient’s garage is one way to safeguard your packages.

“It’s a one-time code and it alerts you when the garage doors open and alerts you when the garage doors closed,” he said, explaining that the code works once. That way, after a package is delivered to an individual, it cannot be accessed by anyone but that person.

People who are not comfortable with the idea of granting a stranger access to their garage can install a lockbox on the front porch with a one-time access code.

“Most people get packages that are relatively small so you can get a small lockable box that you could put on your front porch and put a combination lock on it and in the delivery instructions you can say there’s a lock box on the front porch and put down the combination,” shared the retired police officer who served in the Austin Police Department for 25 years.

Farris also pointed out the Amazon lockers set up at local establishments are also a way to keep one’s belongings safe from porch pirates.

For people who don’t find the three options viable, he recommended a ring doorbell camera or any video surveillance type. Installing these devices on their front porch will at least give homeowners “an idea” of the culprit if they ever get their stuff stolen.

A study by Safewise determined that about 260 million packages were stolen from people’s front porches in the last year.

The year before that, the count was estimated to be about 210 million, with cities like Austin, San Francisco, and Seattle listed as the top three cities to record the thefts.