Tis the season for Grinches who are looking for gifts to steal during the holidays.

New York State Police are warning residents to keep an eye out for people stealing packages out of mailboxes and off porches.

It's not even December yet and porch pirate incidents have already been reported in Otsego County in the towns of Hartwick, Garrettsville and New Lisbon.

Two people were arrested on Monday, November 15, and charged with the misdemeanors of Petit Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Conspiracy.

Richfield Spring Troopers spotted Karen Decarlo and Joshua Talbot, both of Garrettsville, New York. in a vehicle near mailboxes on State Highway 205. A short time later they were called about packages being stolen from a mailbox in the area. The troopers were able to locate Decarlo and Talbot and found them in possession of packages not belonging to them.

The Better Business Bureau offers tips to avoid being the victim of porch pirates this holiday season.

  • Pick up packages as soon as they are delivered. Don’t leave delivered packages unattended for long periods of time.
  • Use online tracking. You can track most packages. If you're told it's been delivered but it's not there, report it.
  • Monitor the front door. Use your security camera to capture activity at your front door and mailbox.
  • Customize deliveries. Ask deliveries be left in a specified out-of-sight location or placed in a secure lockbox on your porch.
  • Sign for packages. Set up signature-only deliveries. That way the packages get into the right hands.
  • Deliver to work. Have any packages delivered to your workplace if it's allowed.

If a porch pirate hornswoggled your booty, report it to BBB Scam Tracker to help warn others.

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