Taking these precautions, courtesy of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office will prevent you from ever being "looted" by porch pirates.

Online shopping nowadays is something I think most of us do on a regular basis. You can pretty much order online anything you want. Groceries, pet supplies, medication, and around this time of year, holiday gifts!!!

Online shopping is convenient, but it also comes with a bit of a risk when it comes to the delivery side of things. Porch Pirates are all over the Hudson Valley and they are looking for houses and apartments like yours that have packages sitting on the porch waiting for you to bring them inside.

We've all heard the stories and seen plenty of videos of "pirates" driving through our neighborhoods searching for that one house that has packages sitting outside. When they find one, they run up and steal the packages. Most times, the thieves have masks on so there's usually no way to identify them.

To avoid this happening to any of us, the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office has released some helpful steps we can all take if we are planning on having things shipped to our homes.

How to Prevent Package Theft

-Sign up for delivery alerts so you know when your delivery is scheduled - and when the package has been delivered.
-If you're not able to be home when a package will be delivered, ask a trusted neighbor to hold it for you.
-Consider installing Wi-Fi-enabled cameras that provide alerts and/or motion-sensor lighting.
-If possible, require a signature for all deliveries.
-Consider shipping packages to your place of work or use the ship-to-store option.
-Be a good neighbor! If you see a package on your neighbor's doorstep, reach out and ask if they would like you to hold it until they are home.

The sheriff's office also took this time to remind everyone that if you do observe a crime in progress never put yourself or anyone's safety in jeopardy to stop it. The best thing you can do is immediately report the crime to your local authorities.

If you're in Dutchess County you can contact the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office at their communications center at 845-486-3800 or you can call 9-1-1.

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