porch pirates

Toronto has had enough of porch pirates stealing their Christmas gifts

It's December in Toronto, meaning it's indeed the season... to have your holiday deliveries stolen by porch pirates, apparently.

At least that's been the case for a number of residents who have taken to social media to express their dismay at discovering gifts they'd ordered for their loved ones had been scooped up and taken by some Grinch-like passersby.

It's not a new phenomenon in the city, but one that has certainly been happening more often now that streets are empty due to residents being advised to stay home as much as possible.

There has also been a huge uptick in people shopping online and getting deliveries compared to pre-pandemic, with so many regions having been in strict lockdown for weeks, making in-person shopping either completely impossible or just inadvisable and potentially dangerous.

It's also something local police have had to formally warn Ontarians about.

"As online shopping continues to grow, the opportunity for theft has risen significantly," the OPP said in a message to the public this fall in which they advised citizens to ask neighbours to watch out for things being delivered if they are unable to be home themselves, to track deliveries online, and to get packages off the porch ASAP once they arrive, among other tips.

There are also handy metal parcel containers that secure packages in a locked compartment so that no one can get at them if you're particularly wary of the porch pirates that have been stalking the city as of late. Front porch cameras can help ward off nefarious visitors, too.

Some people have gone as far as creating or purchasing decoy boxes that explode glitter or even set off a shotgun blank to terrify and punish package stealers.

Apparently, deliveries aren't the only things at risk, either: residents are sharing stories in various community groups about their Christmas lights and other outdoor decorations being stolen.

The same thing was also happening around Halloween.

Hopefully such thieves won't cause us to completely lose our faith in humanity during a season that is supposed to bring warmth and good cheer.

So long as we all stay vigilant, perhaps the resident raccoons will be the only masked bandits screwing with our parcels.

Lead photo by

Tony Alter

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