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Authorities warn against ‘porch pirates’ this holiday season

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(WBNG) -- Authorities are warning against 'porch pirates' as you order gifts this holiday season.

As the craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday pass, many people are receiving deliveries to their homes in the coming weeks and authorities are warning of the possibility for stolen packages.

Broome County Sheriff's Office Detective Matt Barcek said, "you're always going to see an increase in the amount of larcenies around this time because people are getting more stuff delivered to them."

He says the so-called 'porch pirates' are not shy this time of year.

"We've seen these criminals being so brazen, they'll come out in broad daylight and just take things."

Local Mother Micalya Robertson said she's fallen victim to this kind of thief, "my mother had been nice enough to save up for the whole year, money, $200, it was on a Walmart gift card and unfortunately while I was at work one day, somebody stole it out of my mailbox."

Not only did she lose the gift, but said, "it hits your heart really hard, especially the fact that my parents were saving it up all year and they don't have a lot of money."

Now, Robertson doesn't send packages to her home, but rather her work. Since that change, she's been holiday theft-free.

Detective Barcek said delivering packages to work is a good way to avoid package thieves.

"You can also have them diverted to a facility for those companies where you could then pick them up which is the safest way," he added.

Officials recommend keeping you property well-lit and said cameras can be helpful.

"One of the best ways that people can protect themselves is just through tracking their packages, knowing when things are going to be delivered," Barcek added.

If you think a package of yours was stolen, authorities say first check with your carrier to make sure it was brought to the right address.

If your package was stolen, get in touch with police as soon as possible.

Julia Gorman

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