7 On Your Side's tips to prevent porch pirates during the holidays

NEW YORK (WABC) -- We've all seen the videos, countless clips of these criminals caught on camera just trespassing and taking boxes in broad daylight, and then just sailing off into the neighborhood.

It's infuriating. To avoid getting Grinched out of your gifts:

First, Julie Ryan Evans, Editor of SecurityNerd.com, advises you should require a signature for delivery. That will ensure it won't be left unattended and if it is and you requested signature. The carrier will be responsible.

If no one will be home to sign, spell out delivery instructions. You can schedule delivery for a certain time, or leave instructions on exactly where to put your package so it doesn't get spotted like a sitting duck so easily. Specify, leave on side porch, place behind the garage or by the back door.

Track your package. Sign up for email or text alerts and be notified when boxes arrive -then ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye out or grab it.

Also consider having items shipped to your office or held at a secure location, like the post office or delivery facility.

Amazon offers two ways to secure packages. Customers can choose delivery to a locker location. You get a pickup code when you package is put in the locker or you can sign up for Amazon Key, where you allow the driver to key into your house or your trunk.

Next, invest in a security camera. Despite so much Ring doorbell video showing pirates successfully stealing stuff, according to law enforcement, if a thief spots a camera catching them in the act, they usually stop, drop, and run.

If you're a victim of porch piracy, report it and send any video to the police.

Check your homeowner's insurance policy. If a big-ticket item was swiped costing more than your deductible, consider filing a claim.

Next check with the seller, the shipper, and your credit card company. See what their replacement or policy is, you just may be reimbursed or at the very least have your shipping charge refunded.

RELATED: 7 On Your Side warns of holiday 'Shipageddon' due to pandemic


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