They're out there: Porch Pirates. Maybe more this year than any other. Police in Gloucester Township are warning of potential package thievery.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

We're all doing more shopping online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And more deliveries to our homes create more opportunity for thieves to just roll up and swipe whatever gets dropped on our doorstep.

Package thefts are a growing problem. Reportedly, more than 5.5 million Americans, about 1/3 of the country, have had at least one package stolen in the past year, according to personal finance website Finder.com, and those statistics are likely to go up during this holiday season.

Gloucester Township Police has offered these tips (via Patch.com) on how to protect your packages and thwart thieves:

  • Try and retrieve packages (and mail) as soon as it arrives.
  • Reschedule delivery or ask for a package hold if you're not going to be home.
  • Ask your neighbors to grab your packages if they see one get delivered.
  • Leave special instructions for the driver on where to deliver your package. A good place is on the side or back of the house, so that the package is out of sight from the road.
  • Use a company that provides a tracking service and check online to see when it is scheduled to arrive.

If you live in Gloucester Twp., and happen to spot a Porch Pirate, report the theft ASAP by calling 9-1-1 (in the event of an emergency) or 856-228-4500 (the non-emergency line). Try and provide police as detailed a description of the thief as possible, but never to the point where you're putting yourself in harm's way.

Have you ever caught a Porch Pirate in the act? Let us know in the comment box below.

More from SoJO 104.9

50 Famous Brands That No Longer Exist