SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- Christmas is officially three weeks away, and with online shopping at an all-time high, police and locals are warning about doorstep thieves known as porch pirates.
According to website InsuranceQuotes.com, 25.9 million Americans, or eight percent of the population, have reported a holiday package being stolen off their front porch.
Sherman resident John McCollister was nearly a victim.
"It makes you angry," he said.
McCollister said a couple years back when he lived near Paris, his wife caught a package thief in the act.
"She came home to find a man at our front door with packages in hand," he said. "As she drove up, he was in regular pickup, no ID or anything."
He said the thief pretended he was an extra delivery person with a delivery company. They called that company and were informed there was no such man working for them.
"He was not who he said he was and we suspected that," McCollister said.
"They're like sharks, they're waiting out there coming to get that bite," said Lt. John Kennemer with the Sherman Police Department.
Kennemer said McCollister is not alone; they warn that porch pirate spottings increase during the holiday season.
UPS alone expects to deliver around 750 million packages from Thanksgiving to New Year's.
"During the holidays we see a whole lot more of our thefts and burglaries," Kennemer.
McCollister said he shops online all the time, and has learned his lesson after the porch pirate nearly got away with his loot.
"It was one of those times where the timing was perfect," he said. "If it had been a couple minutes later, those packages would have been, history."
Now he asks delivery people to hide his packages, tracks the shipping, and asks neighbors to keep an eye out.
"Be a friend to the people that live around you and watch out for one another," he said.
Here are some more tips from police to avoid becoming a porch pirated person.
1. Ask for your package to be picked up elsewhere, like work. FedEx has also teamed up with Walgreens to deliver packages there.
2. Police recommend being at home when your package is being delivered or asking neighbors to keep an eye out.
3. Security cameras are recommended to make it easier to catch thieves.
4. High-tech options, like "Porch Pirate," "Package Guard," and systems like Amazon Lock and Amazon Key aim to keep your stuff safe.
More valuable tips are available by clicking the link to the right of the story.