SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As online shopping increases during the holiday season, law agencies in the Sacramento area warn community members about “porch pirates” —thieves that take packages dropped off at homes— and offer tips on how to prevent this from happening. 

On Cyber Monday, the Placerville Police Department offered the following tips to prevent holiday or everyday package theft: 

  • Have your packages delivered to your work
  • Have your parcel delivered to the home of a relative or friend that you know will be home
  • Have your package held at your local post office for pickup
  • Take advantage of the “Ship to Store” option that many stores offer
  • Use the Amazon Hub locker feature that is offered. This allows you to pick up your package from a secure location
  • Use BoxLock, which is a secured box for packages to be left, the barcode is scanned and the box unlocks

On Monday, the Citrus Heights Police Department warned package thieves, saying in a social media post that “bait could be anywhere,” referencing the agency’s efforts to catch criminals in the act.

“Thinking about stealing this holiday? You never know what might be bait,” the police department wrote in its post.

Sacramento among worst cities in country for package theft

According to a report by SafeWise, a home security website, the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto metro area is No. 5 for the highest theft in the country. 

The metro area of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose tops the list for most package theft, while Los Angeles (No. 6) and Fresno-Visalia (No. 8) also were among the top cities on the list. 

Among the findings of the report is 260 million packages disappeared across the country during the previous 12 months compared to the previous 12 months, an increase of 50 million. 

According to SafeWise’s report, the value of stolen packages comes out to $19.5 billion. The report was created by surveying Americans and collecting theft data from the FBI. 

SafeWise attributes the rise of package theft to a similar increase in online shopping, which became popular during the pandemic as millions of people shifted to shopping from home.