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Press Release

HCSO Offers Tips to Protect Online Purchases and Prevent Front Porch Theft


Hamilton County, TN – As we all know, the holidays are quickly approaching. In light of the Christmas season, citizens across our county will begin Christmas shopping for family and friends especially as we look forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals both in stores and online. Because of COVID-19 concerns, it is anticipated an extraordinary amount of shoppers across our county and our nation will choose to shop for more of their purchases online rather than in local stores. This will result in an increased amount of packages delivered to homes and businesses.

In anticipation of these deliveries, it is vitally important homeowners take appropriate steps to protect their purchases once they are delivered. According to information offered online by August Home, a home automation company, a staggering 11 million homeowners had a package stolen in the last year, according to a study produced by research firm Edelman Intelligence. In the same report, it was also revealed that 74% of packages are stolen from homes during the day when homeowners are at work and that the average value of stolen packages is $50-100. For more details and statistics, please see the support links listed at the bottom of this press release.

In order to help prevent front porch delivery thefts and thieves, more commonly referred to as “Porch Pirates,” the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is offering the following tips and suggestions.

• Monitor your package’s tracking number and take the time to follow your package throughout its delivery journey.

• When you know you will be receiving a package delivery, try to ensure a family member, friend, or neighbor can be available to accept the item at delivery or secure it

• Request or require a Signature Upon Delivery – Some delivery carriers allow this option

• Reschedule your delivery if you know you will not be available or out of town

• If you are not able to be home for a delivery, consider speaking with your employer to see if you can have it delivered to your place of business

• Be conscientious of the vehicles in your neighborhood. If you see someone acting suspicious, report it to your local law enforcement agency immediately.

• Speak with your delivery carrier and see if they offer in-person pickup at their facility

• Consider installing a doorbell camera or exterior camera that will alert you when someone approaches your property or front porch

• Request a ‘Vacation Hold’ for your mail and packages when you are out of town

• Consider opening a PO Box at your local Post Office branch

• If you use Amazon, consider using Amazon Hub to help locate a safe locker location to have your package delivered

• Consider using a package lockbox attached to a secure item or wall on your porch. The box can have a lock left unlocked with a note to your delivery service to place the package in the box and then lock the padlock to secure the item

What Do You Do If Someone Steals Your Package?

• Contact your delivery service and ask what the process is for filing a claim for a stolen package (USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Amazon all have similar procedures and time limits required to file a claim

• File a police report with the law enforcement agency in your jurisdiction

Attention Media Representatives:

We will have a Detective available today from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm for interviews and questions. Interviews will need to be scheduled and will take place at the HCSO East Annex located at 8395 North Hickory Valley Road. If you would like to schedule an interview during this time, please email media@hcsheriff.gov. We will offer (4) fifteen minute interviews slots during this time.

For more information, please visit the following websites:



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Phone: (423) 209-7000