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Some States Take Action to Crack Down on Porch Pirates

Piracy is rampant in America today, but it’s not the kind involving grizzled seamen wearing eyepatches and muttering “Aaargh, matey!” The problem today is porch piracy — the purloining of packages and other deliveries from front porches and mailboxes.

A study published by Digital Commerce 360’s Internet Retailer site shows that Americans spent some $517 billion in online retail purchases last year, accounting for more than 14% of total adjusted retail sales (factoring out items not normally purchased online). Ten years ago, the figure was 5.1%. And things that get ordered on line usually get delivered to the customer’s home or place of business, either by the USPS or by a carrier like UPS or Federal Express. If nobody is around to receive them, they just sit there, tempting thieves.

Nearly one American in five lost merchandise to porch pirates in 2016, according to a survey conducted by the home security firm Ring, and there’s no reason to think that the number has gone down since.

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In some cases, porch pirates are after valuable items like iPads, small appliances, or luxury liquor or foodstuffs — but they also steal essential prescription medicines, checks, and documents bearing personal information that could facilitate identity theft. State governments are beginning to take notice of this larcenous trend… 24/7 Wall St

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