REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) — San Mateo County Supervisor David J. Canepa has a warning for mail-order shoppers on this Cyber Monday–watch out for “Porch Pirates” now and during the entire holiday shopping season.

“As Cyber Monday marks the biggest online shopping day perhaps in history, it’s important to remember the packages delivered to your door are at risk of being pilfered by ‘Porch Pirates,'” Canepa said.

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“These thieves also know that they face lesser penalties for stealing a Federal Express or Amazon package versus one delivered by the United States Postal Service.”

Because the Postal Service is a federal agency, mail theft is charged as a federal crime. In 2017, it is estimated that 25 million Americans had a package stolen.

Canepa added, “It’s time to treat the theft of all packages delivered by any company as a federal crime.”

The following tips are recommended to thwart ‘Porch Pirates’ this holiday season: Insure your packages; prepare for in-person delivery; use a self-service storage locker; install a security camera; request a signature; pick up package at shipper’s service counter; request delivery to local branch of large retailers; and have packages delivered to your workplace.

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