CHICAGO (WLS) -- Deck the halls, but not the porches. Before you add another item to your online shopping cart, think about how the package can be delivered safely, because porch pirates are out for your treasure.
According to a study from SafeWise, during the holiday season, Chicago sees the third most porch thefts in the U.S. Chicago is also ranked number six on a list of cities where porch pirate strike most throughout the whole year.
According to Deloitte, about 60 percent of people in the U.S. prefer to buy their holiday gifts online, and e-commerce sales are expected to grow by 14-18 percent this year.
If you're planning to purchase presents online, SafeWise offers some tips to prevent porch package theft:
1. If you have an exposed front porch, ask a trusted friend or neighbor with a more secure delivery space if you can send the package to their place. Also consider sending the package to work if your office accepts personal deliveries.
2. Arrange for a package pickup. It's not as convenient as getting a package delivered right to your house, but your package will be more secure. FedEx and UPS stores can hold your packages, and if you call the US Postal Service ahead of time, they can preserve your package for pickup. Amazon Locker offers package pick up to protect from poachers. Use the Amazon locker locator to find one near you.
3. If you have a flexible schedule, order packages when you know you can be home for the delivery and sign for your package. You can add this security measure to most shipments.
4. Install a doorbell camera that alerts you when there's motion on your porch. Many options have two-way communication, so you can tell the porch thief to get lost, even when you're not home.
SafeWise determined Chicago was one of the 10 cities with the most porch package thefts by analyzing 2018 FBI larceny data in metro areas across the U.S. They compared that information with Google Trends data in those areas with the highest search rates for "missing package" and "stolen package."
Chicago sees 3rd most porch thefts in US during holiday season, study says