Crime Stoppers Corner
Online shopping for the gift-giving season has been widely accepted for a couple of years
and the impact of COVID-19 has only increased the convenience for residents of the City
of Guelph and the County of Wellington.
With the holidays approaching, it will be high season for the latest incarnation of criminal;
the Porch Pirate.
That’s right, with a spring in their step and free merchandise in their sights, these
unscrupulous individuals will take any packages left at the door. Is it a high-powered
blender? A dog bed? Vital medication for a child? It does not matter to these people. They
will take the packages and sprint off to keep, or more likely, sell the more desirable items
on your local online marketplace.
One in four people are victims of package theft. As disappointing as it is for online
shoppers, this is costly crime for merchants as well as delivery companies. There are steps
you can take to reduce the chance of being a victim of parcel theft.
- Track your package – most delivery services & merchants off this function
- Select delivery to the store – for many larger stores, you can order online and have
the item shipped to the store instead of your home
- Install a monitor system that will advise you when a package is delivered so you
can make arrangements to collect it promptly
- Indicate “signature on delivery” for your packages so you know it arrives and is
brought into your home.
- If you are able to take deliveries at work, arrange to do so. Or see if an available
family member will take the delivery at their home.
- Shop locally and check to see what delivery and pickup options there are for
merchants in your neighborhood
In many cases, these parcels are stolen so the contents can be sold in online marketplaces.
Be careful to ensure you are not purchasing stolen property obtained by parcel theft by
asking questions and researching the product. In some cases, important items such as
medication are stolen and can interfere with the health and wellbeing of the intended
If you are the victim of parcel theft, please ensure you report the crime to police, as well
as the merchant. If you know an individual who is committing these crimes, please contact
Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington at 1-800-222-TIPS or online at www.csgw.tips. You will
never have to give your name or testify in court. If your information is used in an arrest,
you maybe eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.
by Sarah Bowers-Peter
Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington