Roanoke County Police share tips on how to prevent porch pirates this holiday season

Online shopping is expected to hit an all time high amid COVID-19

Online shopping is expecting to reach an all-time high this year over the holidays.

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va, – With online shopping expected to be at an all-time high because of the coronavirus pandemic, police officers are gearing up for potentially record-breaking cases of porch pirates.

With these kinds of thefts expected to rise this holiday season, there are some easy tips to follow to lower the risk. Including asking for a drop slip from the delivery service.

“What that will do is, instead of delivering the package, they will deliver a piece of paper that says, hey, your package is sitting on our shelf at our warehouse.,” Roanoke County Police Officer Thurman Butts said.

The police department says another safe backup option is if you can have your packages delivered to where you work, it can be another good way to avoid any potential porch pirates.

Another important tip is to always lock your home and car doors.

It may sound easy to remember, but throughout the year the county has seen a rising number of car break-ins, resulting in dozens of reports of stolen firearms.

“We’ve had over 100 firearms stolen within the past 365 days from the surrounding jurisdictions, all unlocked vehicles firearms were stolen,” Butts said.

At home, security systems are another good option, and have even helped the county track down some of the thieves

“We’ve actually seen and we’re able to track a few criminals on one particular street whereas the Parcel Service was dropping off packages, the criminal was following essentially right behind the truck,” Butts said.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.