Holiday shopping is in full swing and porch pirates are on the prowl: How to avoid falling victim

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Holiday shopping is in full swing and this year, shoppers ditched long lines to shop online. With more purchases delivered to porches, Denver police and Commerce City are reminding people to stay vigilant.

Kristi Waters got an early start on holiday shopping this year and became a victim of a porch pirate. Waters says she was working in her living room when she got a notification that a package arrived. She said in less than five minutes, the Amazon package was stolen.

“It was my daughter’s big Christmas present,” Waters said. “It was a little pink electronic car.”

Her Ring camera caught a man in a Bronco’s hat with a mask swipe the package from the porch. She says video just before the theft captured him on the prowl.

“I could see him on my Ring,” Waters said. He waited behind the FedEx truck.”

Like many across the U.S., the mother of four did her shopping online to avoid big crowds during the pandemic.

“Just to be safer this year,” Waters said.

The latest report shows 60% of shoppers plan to do at least some shopping from the comfort of their home. With more people shopping online, you can expect more packages at risk of being snatched by a Grinch.

Commerce City and Denver police are reminding people to stay alert and take extra precautions to avoid a heartache and headache.

To help keep your belonging safe:

  1. Track your package
  2. Mail it to work or a family member who will be home
  3. Arrange to pick it up at a store or check-point
  4. Have it shipped to a secure locker

Waters says she doesn’t plan to have any more packages delivered to her home.

“I set up all my apps and I’m going to be going to lockers and checkpoints,” she said.

In Colorado, porch pirates can face theft charges, which can vary based on the item’s value. In states like Texas, repeated offenders can face felony charges and, if convicted, face jail time and fines ranging from $4,000 to $10,000.

Waters plans to continue exposing people taking advantage during a trying time. She is now pleading with the community to help track the man who swiped her package.

She says if it weren’t for Amazon replacing her package, her 3-year-old daughter would be out of a Christmas gift she worked hard to buy.