'Tis the season for package theft

Remember shaking your wrapped holiday packages as a kid, trying to guess what's inside? Rattle, rattle, rattle could mean Hot Wheels. (Yay!) But a light and quiet package? Likely socks or pajamas. (Ho-hum.)

I wonder if porch pirates do the same thing.

I'm guessing probably not, given the results of our latest PEMCO Poll. In it, nearly HALF (48%) of respondents said they've had a package swiped off their doorsteps. To me, that means a lot of porch pirates probably aren't too picky about what's hiding in the box.

It also suggests there may be more we could do to thwart thieves hunting treasure on our welcome mats. In the Poll, one in four people admitted they don't take any special steps to try to safeguard packages left by delivery services.

With package-theft season kicking into high gear, PEMCO's put together a list of things you can do to keep your holiday gifts out of a Grinch's grip. The top tip: No packages, no porch pirates. Route deliveries to your work address, if possible, or take advantage of safe-site pickups (offered, for example, by Fed Ex, Amazon, and UPS).

And if you do fall victim to a porch pirate, here's hoping they make off with something like sprinkler system parts – all that tantalizing rattling only to reveal a box full of … "What's this?"

Read the complete PEMCO Northwest Poll, in which we surveyed 1,200 Washington and Oregon residents.

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