TERRE HAUTE , Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – With more shopping being done online and Cyber Monday just around the corner, it means that many will be awaiting packages. Local law enforcement says with the right precaution, you can ensure that your purchases end up in the right hands.

The National Retail Federation predicts that online shopping will be up between 20 and 30 percent this holiday season.

As cyber shopping increases, the Indiana State Police says so are the number of packages being stolen from a person’s home.

“Due to the pandemic this year, we are seeing a lot more people that are shopping online. What we ask for people to be is vigilant at that time. We have seen an increase in porch pirates in the Wabash Valley,” said Sgt. Matt Ames, Indiana State Police.

Ames says according to a 2017 study, because of porch pirates, millions of dollars of merchandise did not end up in the hands of the person that purchased it.

“There was a study done by national insurance agencies and they estimated that there was over $27 million dollars worth of items that were taken from porches,” Ames said.

So how can you avoid falling victim this holiday season? Ames says first, knowing the details of your shipment is key.

“Make sure that you know when it’s going to be arriving, receive the tracking number on that package,” Ames said.

But he also says there is even more that you can do to protect yourself, like making sure someone is prepared to receive your items.

“Reach out to the people that you are ordering from, ask for a signature to be given to the delivery system or have that item be delivered to a location where you’ll be located at or a family member,” Ames said.

Ames says it has also become popular for people to have their packages delivered to their job.