COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) -- It only takes seconds for someone to steal from your porch. This is the time of year when packages are left behind from delivery trucks. "Package thefts are obviously on the rise," said Columbus Police Sergeant James Fuqua.
Online holiday shopping continues to reach record levels. That means a record amount of packages are delivered. The problem is, thieves know it.
According to Edelman Research Firm, last year 23 million Americans had packages stolen by so-called porch pirates and the value of the items stolen range from $50 to $100.
Police say now is the time to protect yourself. If you plan to get deliveries over the next month, make arraignments to sign for the package. That way you're guaranteed to get it.
You can also make arrangements to have someone at your home like a friend or neighbor to collect the package. If possible, try to have your package delivered to your workplace.
If all else fails, "You can request that you hide it either behind an object on the porch or if you have a garage, in a corner where it can't be seen," Sgt. Fuqua said.
There are devices such as lock boxes where a package can be placed and thieves can't get to it. Police also recommend doorbell cameras as a deterrent.
Unfortunately statistics show that only about 10 percent of thieves are actually caught but police say taking a proactive approach to head off thieves is better than nothing at all.