Beware of Porch Pirates

Here is a letter from Marlboro’s Mayor Jon Hornik & Chief of Police Peter Pezzullo

Safety Update – Package Deliveries

Dear Neighbor,

Thanksgiving weekend and the holiday season brings with it an increase of package deliveries and a greater possibility of becoming the victim of a ‘Porch Pirate’. A Porch Pirate is the name for someone who steals packages off the porch before the resident has a chance to retrieve them, often by following delivery vans. The ‘Defense Against Porch Pirates Act’ was signed into law by Governor Murphy last year and makes this theft a third-degree crime allowing for a sentence of three to five years of prison, a fine of up to $15,000 or both.

As always, the best plan is to take steps to prevent theft before it happens. Please read on for more.

  • Package Tracking and Delivery Notifications – Every major delivery service has package tracking options that will alert you when the package is expected to be delivered. Sign up for these notifications via text and email to prevent your package from being unattended on your porch for too long.
  • Use a Security Camera – A camera enabled doorbell or security system is a great way to deter would-be thieves, especially with a sign that says your home is under surveillance. Participate in our Neighbors Ring Doorbell program by downloading the app. If you do not have a video system, you can still use the free app to alert you to concerns in your neighborhood. Learn more HERE.

o Don’t want off-hour security alert notifications? Deliver to store or hub as noted below.

  • Check with Neighbors – Got a notification that a package has been delivered and you are not home? Ask a neighbor to collect the package for you. Before reporting theft make sure that the package was not delivered to the wrong address. Delivery notifications with a picture will ensure the package was dropped in the correct location.
  • Ship to Store – If a retailer has a physical location near your home, choose ship to store at checkout.
  • Amazon Hub Locker – At checkout choose to have your packages delivered to an Amazon Hub Locker. Local lockers can be found at Staples, Whole Foods, select Wawa’s and 7-Eleven. Check the Amazon website for locations.
  • Ship to Your Office or use a Package Receiving Service – Amazon, as noted above, has hubs. FedEX and UPS have options to hold the package at a local location for pickup. If possible, ship your package to your office (make sure to choose office location so the packages are not delivered on the weekend when the office is not open).
  • Amazon In-Garage Delivery – If you can open and close your garage with myQ app, Amazon packages and groceries can be delivered right inside your garage. Set up your MyQ smart garage

and choose ‘FREE key delivery’ at checkout. The driver will scan your package to securely open your linked garage. Click HERE to learn more and set up this service with Amazon.

  • Take the Pledge/Join the Club – If you have not done so, take the on line pledge and have the steering wheel lock ‘The Club’ and an ‘I Took the Pledge’ lawn sign delivered to your home. This sends a physical message to would be thieves that you are working with police to fight crime and they should move on. Click HERE to register.
  • Vacation Safety – Register for a free police security check to request extra patrols while you are away. Request this service by reading the WAIVER FORM and completing the REQUEST FOR SECURITY CHECK. Be social media savvy. Don’t post requests that give away your schedule and wait until you are home to post pictures of your vacation. Arrange for packages to be delayed, delivered elsewhere or collected by a neighbor and do the same for mail.
  • See Something. Say Something. We Will Do Something. – If you see someone or something suspicious or out of place, do not hesitate. Call the police at 732-536-0100. For crimes in progress dial 911.

    We will continue to work diligently to keep Marlboro safe, but we need your assistance. Please remind your family and neighbors to lock their cars, remove valuables (wallet, keys, handbags, garage door openers), and take the fob inside. Make sure house windows and doors are locked, garage doors closed, and set a house alarm if you have one. Keep your key fobs/handbags/wallets out of sight and do not leave them on a hook by the door or visible from the windows. Take the steps above to ensure your deliveries make it into your home. Again, if you see anything suspicious, call the police. Together, we will keep Marlboro safe.

    I wish you and your family a happy and meaningful Thanksgiving and holiday season.

    In community, Mayor Jon Hornik Chief Peter Pezzullo