How to prevent porch pirates this holiday season

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) -- If an ABC7 News crew can find the postal service and UPS in a neighborhood within a matter of minutes, so can porch pirates.

"Yeah I can't leave them out so that's a little info notice letting them know I attempted a package," a UPS delivery man said.

ABC7 News still managed to find other packages sitting outside of homes around Bernal Heights on Tuesday. A 2017 study found 26 million Americans have packages stolen during the holidays.

It's already happened to Sharon Singam. She lives in San Francisco.

"I was really upset that this person came, took this item, and then used my handrail to scurry off down the steps," Singman said.

Singam's four-year-old saw their surveillance video.

"He said two things," Singham said. "Let's go get that guy and the second thing he said, which was really endearing, was I hope he has a kid that can enjoy it."

The package stolen from Singham's home was a toy for another child.

Porch Pirates aren't new, but some resources to help are.

USPS has a free app called Informed Delivery.

"If they are anticipating a package what they can do is they can customize the delivery," Augustine Ruiz, a postal service spokesperson said. "And tell the letter carrier, 'hey can you hide it behind the fence, hide it behind the bush."

UPS also has a free program where customers can reroute the package to any store or to what they call an "access point." It's also free.

"Like the corner liquor store, laundry mat, bakery, just any place that is like a customer facing business that can accept and hold UPS packages," UPS store manager Paul Taube said.

FedEx has customer resources as well. It's clear people are trying to stay on top of their security. Ring video doorbells were a best seller during Cyber Monday, but that can't always stop someone from stealing. Remember, the season of giving is also for the taking.
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