A porch pirate, as defined by Urban Dictionary, is a person or persons who steal packages off of unsuspecting customers' porches or front door areas.

And, unfortunately, we've got plenty of them in and around the Rockford area. We're barely into the holiday season, yet we've seen multiple reports of people having their newly-delivered packages grabbed right off of their front porch by thieves.

Other than only shopping in stores and carrying your purchases into the house when you return, what can be done to thwart some of these package-taking grinches?

Well, CNBC went straight to law enforcement with that same question, and here are some of the suggestions they got from the police:

  • Have your package delivered to your work.
  • Have your package delivered to the home of a relative or friend that you know will be home.
  • Have your package held at your local post office for pickup.
  • Take advantage of “Ship to Store” option that many stores offer. Amazon offers a “locker” feature that allows you to pick up your package from a secure location.
  • Request that your package has signature confirmation upon delivery.
  • Ask your carrier to place package in an area out of plain view.

The experts do not recommend these tactics (as amusing as some of them are):

And my personal favorite: