Skip to Content

Officials warn about “porch pirates” stealing packages

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

DULUTH, MN -- More than 1.7 million packages are stolen or missing every day, nationwide.

That's according to a new analysis from the New York Times. Those numbers result in more than $25 million in lost items.

In Duluth, officials with the Police Department say the amount of package theft reports has remained average for the last few years.

Officials say theft is always based on opportunity.

If thieves see packages unattended at a home that seems to be empty, they'll be more inclined to pick that house.

Police say the best way to keep your items safe is to track shipping and delivery with notifications, take your package inside as soon as it arrives,
arrange for a trusted neighbor to take your package until you get home,
or have your items delivered to your work.

Ingrid Hornibrook with the Duluth Police Department says police can't be everywhere at once - so they rely on the community to be the eyes and ears of the neighborhood.

"Theft is definitely preventable. So when you start thinking in terms of keeping your items safe and being proactive, it makes you feel more in control of your property and your neighborhood, and it creates safer neighborhoods for everybody. Look out for your neighbors and they'll do the same for you," Hornibrook said.

If you do become a victim of theft, you can either call 911, or file a report on the duluth police department's website. Leave as many details as possible about the incident. This data helps police look at trends and patterns of package theft in certain areas.

We also reached out the the United States Postal Service about holiday delivery.

They say their biggest concern in our area is inaccessibility to roads and mailboxes due to snow.

You can read the full statement to CBS 3 from USPS below:

"The Postal Service makes every effort to deliver mail and packages as long as it is safe for our employees to do so. We struggled in the Duluth area recently with inaccessibility to roads and mailboxes. Our employees will attempt to deliver if there is not a safety concern to do so even if they are unable to drive at times. However, safety of our employees is of utmost importance to USPS and winter weather hazards sometimes prevent us from being able to safely deliver.

Our customers can help by removing all snow and ice from walkways, sidewalks, steps, porches and around curbline boxes.  Clearing snow at least six feet on both sides of curbline mailboxes allows carriers to approach and leave without backing up their vehicles.

When customers maintain a clear path to the mailbox, it helps us provide timely, consistent delivery service.  More importantly, it helps keep all visitors – including our letter carriers – safe from injury in these challenging conditions.

We will also be out earlier and later during the holiday season. If you could keep pets restrained and a porch light on, this will also greatly assist our carriers."

United States Postal Service

For Winter 2019 package delivery deadline information, click here. 

Jenna Wells

Skip to content