Local police offer tips, services to avoid porch pirates this holiday season
GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas (KXII) - This year more than ever shoppers are doing their Christmas shopping online, getting gifts delivered to their doorstep.
As of last September, it is a felony in Texas to steal packages from another person’s mailbox or porch.
But a local police department has a program in place to prevent those porch pirates from taking packages.
“Basically people that are at work or can’t be home, they can have their packages delivered right to the Van Alstyne police department and we’ll take it in, we’ll log it in, and they can come by whenever they want to pick it up,” Van Alstyne police chief Tim Barnes said.
Barnes said this is the third year in a row that they have allowed people to send their packages to the police station.
He said they have already started getting some for people who did some early Christmas shopping.
“I’m sure this week it’ll get a lot heavier and closer to Christmas it’ll get overwhelming but we can handle it and it’s something great for the community, and I think it’ll keep somebody from getting something they shouldn’t have,” Barnes said.
Barnes encourages people in Van Alstyne city limits to take advantage of it to make sure your presents end up under the tree this year.
“Please use the service, it may keep a present from being stolen,” Barnes said.
But if you don’t live in Van Alstyne, Denison police Lt. Mike Eppler said there are a few ways to avoid falling victim to porch pirates.
“If you’re going to be gone, have your neighbors keep an eye on your place for you, have someone come over and check your house if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, and also if you see something, say something,” Eppler said.
Eppler said it is something to think about after Christmas too when opening big presents or boxes.
“Just something as simple as crushing those boxes either putting them in your recycle bin or discard them, don’t leave them out where people driving through the neighborhood or walking around can see what you’ve got in there because it becomes a shopping list for them,” Eppler said.
More information on Van Alstyne police’s program can be found here.
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