Having gifts shipped this holiday season? Beware of thieves — porch pirates are on the rise in Denver

U.S. Postal clerks Steven Prince, left, and Alyssa Loomis, right, scan and process packages at the U.S. Postal Denver Processing and Distribution Center on Nov. 17, 2017.

Porch pirates are busy in Denver, where package thefts have been on the rise in December and over the past three years.

Police said Wednesday that 457 package thefts were reported in Denver in 2017 through Dec. 12. That compares with 324 package thefts in all of 2016 and 313 package thefts reported in 2015.

Package thefts reach a zenith in December as holiday deliveries are made to homes and residents are at work or out and about. In December 2015, there were 93 package thefts reported in Denver. Last year 97 were reported, and this year 33 were reported through Tuesday.

#PorchPirates are on the move and as of yesterday, package thefts in #Denver are up from the past two years! That’s no bueno… Luckily, we have some tips for ya! #WednesdayWisdom pic.twitter.com/UrMssyavBT

— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) December 13, 2017

Last month there were 67 reports of packages stolen in Denver, compared with 52 in November 2016 and 24 in November 2015.

To cut down on porch-pirate thefts, police suggest consumers have packages delivered to work or to neighbors who are more likely to be home. Arrangements also can be made to sign for packages; in such cases, deliveries will not be left if no one is home. Real-time-tracking options can help cut down on thefts.

Amazon offers a home delivery service — Amazon Key — that allows delivery people into homes to drop off boxes. The service is offered in Denver.

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