PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Tis the season for hot cocoa, caroling and, unfortunately, those pesky porch pirates.
"I think it's increasing every year because the market is increasing for home delivery of items," said Maj. Byron Roberson of the Prairie Village Police Department.
A study from Canary, a home security company, found nearly one in five Americans was a victim of porch piracy or knew someone who was during the 2018 holiday season.
That's why 41 Action News is sharing five ways to keep your packages safe.
1. Hold your mail
The US Postal Service expects to deliver more than 28 million packages per day between Dec. 16 and Dec. 21.
The USPS will hold your mail so a front door thief can't steal it. All you have to do is sign up for a free account with USPS.com, then pick up your package from a nearby post office.
FedEx will also hold items.
2. Amazon and UPS options
If you're an Amazon Prime member, there are several ways to have packages securely stored.
If you're not a Prime member, you can have items delivered to a local Amazon locker. They can be found all over the area at stores like Whole Foods, Save A Lot, 7-Eleven and JCPenney.
If you're getting deliveries from UPS, you can get a mailbox at a UPS Store. They start around $20 per month but offer extra privacy as you don't have to give out your home address on the internet.
UPS also announced in July it was adding 12,000 pickup locations inside CVS, Michaels and Advance Auto Parts stores.
3. Security cameras
"I would encourage everyone if you have the ability to have some kind of technology like that at your home to deter it and also help us catch them," Roberson said.
The cameras can be costly, with a starting price around $100.
Also, although the cameras may catch thieves in the act, that doesn't always mean they'll leave your packages behind.
4. Packages sent to work
Even the experts do this. It's free and typically secure.
"For our employees here at the city of Prairie Village, we encourage them to have their packages sent here," Roberson said.
5. Neighborly help or 'Home Alone'
Call it old fashioned, but asking a neighbor to keep an eye out for your package is easy and free.
If you want to pull a "Home Alone," you don't have to go as far as Kevin McCallister to protect your property. You can leave the lights on or park a car out front. Avoid posting photos on social media that show you're away from home.