Porch pirates are on the move, targeting Amazon packages throughout New Bedford.

The New Bedford Police Department said it fielded "numerous" calls about package thefts in June, in line with an uptick of similar crimes reported nationwide.

The thieves, in many cases, go the extra mile to get away with the merchandise.

"Porch pirates have been seen impersonating Amazon delivery drivers by wearing a vest with the Amazon logo while carrying an empty box and switching it out with the real package," the NBPD warned residents on social media.

At the start of June, the police department crafted a public service announcement to inform people of this "concerning new trend."

The culprits are sneaky but that doesn't mean potential targets are powerless.

Police offered several tips to help people keep their property safe:

  • Track deliveries. Use the Amazon tracking feature to monitor delivery status and make arrangements to be home upon the package's arrival.
  • Use Amazon Locker. If you're always on the go, arrange to have your package delivered to a secure Amazon Locker location nearby.
  • Install security and doorbell cameras. Cameras will allow you to see who's at your house. Some allow for two-way communication.

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Police also recommend notifying neighbors of any expected packages so they can watch for suspicious activity or keep the items for you and customizing delivery instructions to have the package placed in a less visible location.

Another option is to require a signature upon delivery, which means someone at home must be present to receive the package.

Police say people should stay vigilant for suspicious activity and report any suspected thefts or individuals immediately.

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