MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - During the holiday season, a lot of people shop online. If you're shopping online and getting your packages delivered to your home, you need to be cautious of porch pirates.
Law enforcement wants you to keep an eye out for any Grinches that are trying to ruin the holiday spirit by stealing your packages and presents, but remember that porch pirates can strike year round.
"There's potential at any time for somebody out there to prey on you and make you a victim by taking your stuff from you and in the process, one or the other may get hurt," said Lieutenant Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
So far this month, the Madison County Sheriff's Office has been notified of two porch pirates, which Shaw says is a little less than previous years. Both of those thieves have been identified; the second was identified Thursday.
Shaw recommends setting up a plan to make sure your packages aren't stolen. He suggests having your packages delivered to work, a leasing office at a complex, have a neighbor keep an eye out for you, or even have them taken to the delivery service's freight facility and you can go pick them up there.
He also says home security cameras are helping prevent and catch criminals.
"Secure your packages, have an alternate plan to keep them from being left unattended," Shaw said.
Shaw knows some of these suggestions are a little inconvenient, but at the end of the day, it pays off to keep your items safe.
If you have a package stolen from your home, you can report the theft to the law enforcement agency that serves your area.