VIGO CO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The days after Amazon’s Prime Day are filled with anticipation for consumers, eagerly awaiting their packages.

But, did you know an unattended box on a porch can be a target for a ‘porch pirate?’

Sergeant Matt Ames with the Indiana State Police describes it as ‘Christmas in July for porch pirates.’

From November 1 of last year to July 15, there have been 47 reports of porch theft in Vigo County and Terre Haute.

While most cases happen during the holidays, Ames said it is a crime of opportunity.

“Once [thieves] see a couple of boxes on one porch they can go around and check the rest of the subdivision and see whether there are multiple boxes on porches,” Ames said.

Below are some tips to use to try and prevent theft.

  • Consider investing in a door camera.
  • Require a signature for the delivery to be completed.
  • Track your package.
  • Have it delivered to work or have a neighbor pick up your delivery.

In the event of a theft, Sheriff John Plasse said it’s important to report the incident to help officials detect patterns and hotspots.

“If we find an item and it hasn’t been reported, we can’t return it to an owner. That’s the key, reporting. Even if it’s something small and they don’t think there’s a chance we may find someone, there’s always a chance we will,” Plasse said.

Offenders will be charged with theft, which is typically a level six felony.

“Grab and go is what they’re doing. It gives them an opportunity to get something they’re not paying for,” Ames said.

Disposing of your packages is equally as important post delivery. Authorities say a nearby box of a lucrative item may unknowingly be an alert to a wondering thief.

“Please don’t advertise you have nice things in your house and hopefully it won’t make you a target,” Plasse said.

To report a theft, you can contact ISP – Putnamville Post at (765) 653-5272 or the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office at (812) 462-3224.