Preparing for Cyber Monday deliveries? So are Porch Pirates.

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Local authorities are reminding people to protect yourself from Porch Pirates as you’re awaiting your deliveries.

Now is the time to be extra careful as you shop online for your holiday gifts.

An increase in package thefts could come with more online shopping and deliveries.

From groceries to holiday gifts, the increase in online shopping has become significant in 2020.

“I think it’s really more of a question of what’s not different, right,” asked Ed Zebel, Assistant Store Manager of the Best Buy in Johnson City. “If there’s anything we know about 2020 is that it’s completely unpredictable.”

What’s also unpredictable is that the increase in online orders could mean an increase in package thefts.

“It’s really a crime of opportunity,” said Lieutenant Andy Hodges of the Johnson City Police Department. “If they see it and it’s there and they want to take a chance to try and get it, they could possibly try to do that.”

As consumers prepare for Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, Johnson City Police say it’s important to have a plan for when your packages are going to be delivered.

“If you’re going to be able to have it delivered when your home, that’s always preferable,” said Lieutenant Hodges. “Maybe if you know you’re going to be away from the home during the delivery time, if you have a neighbor that could retrieve that package for you or something like that just so it’s not sitting out in the open on your porch for an extended period of time.”

The post office, UPS, and FedEx all offer ways you can track your shipments and get a notice when they arrive.

You can also invest in outdoor lighting, video surveillance, and home security systems, which are some items that may be part of a cyber Monday deal.

“There’s a lot of cool tech that were going to have on sale this year,” said Zebel.

You can also opt to order online and pick up in stores at many large retail stores.

“We [have] contactless curbside pick up,” explained Zebel. “It’s something that we didn’t have last year that we do have this year.”

JCPD also wants to remind people that theft of any item under a thousand dollars would be considered a misdemeanor.

Anything over a thousand dollars would be considered a felony theft.

A lot of stores also have a replacement program if items are lost or stolen.

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