One in Four People Victimized by Porch Pirates

Front Door Package

Online merchants have taken a lot of the stress out of holiday shopping -- that is, unless the gifts you ordered are stolen from your front porch before you get a chance to bring them in.

Despite the attention that's been cast on the problem, porch piracy is worse than ever in the U.S., police say. For thieves, it's a quick way to net free stuff with minimal risk of being caught -- and with the average value of a stolen package being $140, the pay is pretty good for just a few seconds of work. One in four people have fallen victim to the crime, according to the website Smiota.

The best way to avoid being victimized is to have packages delivered to an Amazon Locker, police say. If they're not available in your area, authorities recommend tracking your package online and being close by when it's delivered. They also say installing video doorbells or security cameras won't hurt, either.

Photo: Getty Images

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