Local man offers device to protect holiday deliveries from porch pirates

Stopping Porch Pirates
Preventing Porch Thefts

HILLIARD - Millions of people will knock out part of their holiday shopping list online. Reports show UPS and FedEx are expected to deliver more than one billion packages this holiday season. It's that volume of unattended goods that may prove too much for some criminals to resist.

A Hilliard man is working to make stealing those delivered items a little harder. J.D. Smith launched a company called Package Protectors.

He sells steel boxes that can be bolted to porches to keep deliveries in a safe space.

  • The mailman drops the box into the first door.
  • The package then moves into a second area of the box.
  • The homeowner can unlock the box with a key and retrieve the delivery.

"It's got a trap door so you can't stick your arm down in it and steal a package," said Smith about device's design.

Depending on the design, the price of the Package Protector may be more expensive than a front door surveillance camera. Smith insists it is also more effective.

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"This is an actual physical deterrent," said Smith. "The doorbell cameras and cameras around your house don't stop people from doing it... just like they don't stop people from robbing banks."

Several local departments told 10TV they are considering strategies to help residents awaiting deliveries. Last year, Columbus Police launched an undercover effort after the city saw a huge number of package thefts. They are not saying if the department will run that operation again this December.

If you order from Amazon, you don't have to have the item delivered to your home. The online-sales giant has locations with delivery lockers at several secure pick-up sites in Central Ohio. Customers just need to scan a code on their phone to unlock the locker and grab the items.

Click here for more information from the United States Postal Service for steps you can take to better protect your deliveries.

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