Right now thousands of people are in lines at stores across the country to kick off the start of the holiday shopping season, and with an increase of holiday shipments heading to your home there are also thieves looking to take them.
"Porch pirates would have to be very sharp to get a package from us," online shopper Joni Boulet said.
Boulet has never been hit by a porch pirate, but knows people who have.
"That happens a lot in our neighborhood," Boulet said.
According to a 2017 study by Shorr Packaging Corporation, 31% of people surveyed said they had experienced package theft. The study also shows 53% of people surveyed said they changed their plans to make sure they were home to receive their package even though they didn't have to sign for it.
"Especially picking up after Thanksgiving there will be thieves that will follow delivery vehicles, whether its FedEx, UPS, or the United States mail delivery service. They'll follow them and these delivery services will leave a package on the front porch, and not knowing what it is the thieves will go victimize the people living at the home," Madison County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Donny Shaw said.
Shaw said there are a few ways you can protect yourself and your stuff. If you know you won't be home when your package is being delivered he suggests having it shipped to a neighbor or asking your boss if you can have it sent to work.
"I actually have things delivered to my job. There are people who can sign for it or just put it in the back," online shopper Dante Moss said.
You could also request the package be left at the freight center and pick it up from there.
"Fortunately I'm home most of the time, and we also check to see when our packages are arriving," Boulet said.
That's another practice Shaw recommends: watch your package tracker. If the company you ordered from says your order was delivered but it's not at your front door call law enforcement.
According to Shaw, if a package thief is caught the person could face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the value of the package.