The United States Postal Service is projecting more than 900 million packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. That’s up from 871 million last year and 750 million in 2016.

More packages though mean more opportunities for package thieves, sometimes referred to as porch pirates.

Columbus police officer Chris Riley says thieves sometimes work alone and sometimes in teams. “A lot of opportunity exists out here especially in residential areas,” Rile said. “I think the bad guys are looking for what’s easiest and unfortunately a big package delivered at the front door, left on a step is the easiest.”

Kim Cowie has lived in German Village for five years and been the victim of package theft twice. She says she saw it happen the second time. “I was walking home the second day it happened and saw them take my package and my neighbor went out chasing them from his hair salon across the street – so they’re very quick,” Cowie said.

Cowie says she now has all her packages delivered to the German Village Society Meeting House – a service officer to village residents. She says she still keeps an eye out the window. “You know you see young people, you see couples, you just don’t know it could be anyone,” Cowie said. “I think if they see something from Amazon or Staples or Apple then they think there might be something valuable in the box.”

Officer Riley says if you’re not going to be at home, make arrangements with neighbors, or have the package delivered to a side door or an alternative address. He said a little bit of planning goes a long way to avoid becoming a victim.