Porch package thefts increase during summer

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - According to NextDoor.com, more shoppers are reporting their packages being stolen off their front porch during the summer.

For families across the country, the official start of summer is just days away. But unfortunately as the sun comes out, so do the porch pirates, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Just ask Phillip Irwin, who knows all about taking losses when it comes to stolen shipments.

Irwin and his business partner run Grivet Outdoors in Midtown, where they ship and sell sporting and outdoor merchandise.

Irwin said he's seen a spike in customer reports of porch piracy.

"We've had to re-ship things and that's definitely part of the business now, especially in the online world where so many packages are shipped," Irwin said.

To help keep packages safe, neighbors are turning to NextDoor, the neighborhood social network site used in more than 175,000 U.S. neighborhoods.

Neighbors use the site to warn each other about stolen packages and, in some cases, even help police find those responsible.

"Social media has its ups and downs in a bunch of different ways, but if you can create relationships with people that you didn't even know before the app I think that's a great thing," Irwin said.

According to NextDoor, package theft complaints were up 500 percent last year, with the average price of a stolen package being $250.

To protect your delivery, consumer experts suggest rerouting your package to a secure location, like your office.

Use smart gadgets like a video doorbell or motion sensor surveillance and require a signature if it's a valuable item or pick up the package at the store.

Irwin said he's on a service route, so getting to know his delivery driver has helped him secure his shipments.

"If you're home during that time I know a lot of people are at work most of the time when their packages get delivered, so it's tough but if you can they are usually nice people," Irwin said.

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