Due to COVID-19 as well as other factors, online shopping is expected to continue to increase through the holiday season and with the increase, comes an increase in people stealing those delivered packages (a.k.a. porch piracy). 

According to C+R Research’s 2019 Package Theft Statistics Report, Americans spend an average of $222 per month on e-commerce purchases. In fact, 44% of households receive at least one package delivery per week and 36% have had a package stolen at least once from their home.

The Mentor Police Department in Ohio is determined to do what it can to curb this behavior in their city. The department has formed a special undercover detail to combat porch pirates. Undercover officers plan to operate throughout the city neighborhoods utilizing a variety of tools including unmarked vehicles, surveillance equipment, and the use of bait boxes that contain GPS tracking units.

Several years ago, Mentor Police recognized the link between organized retail theft rings and drug abuse. The successful Retail Theft Detail led to a significant decrease in retail theft in Mentor and now serves as a model for other departments across the country. They are confident this new initiative will help garner similar results.

“This is ultimately about deterrence. Word got out to the theft rings about the program and they quickly determined that this was not a place they wanted to operate,” says Mentor Police Captain Mike Majernik.

While the police department said it will do what it can to prevent package theft, the city reminded residents to take precautionary measures to protect themselves and their assets as the first line of defense, such as package tracking, request of out of sight delivery, etc.