The Pirates of the Porch are in overdrive. Their crimes take place at the gates of the nation as Christmas presents, ordered from online retailers, arrive in the hundreds of millions. And many of these parcels disappear. Thieves are now legitimate wicked because they have an official name. Search Porch Pirates on Twitter or another social network, and you'll see what I mean. But some of the 26 million victims who claim to have cartons out of their porch defend themselves heroically, determined to protect their precious parcels. They use traps, secret cameras, geo-followers and bait boxes. The scenes of "Good vs. Evil" published online make days of great reading comics, supplemented by shameful video clips of sneaky pirates, clumsy pirates, pirates grandmother in floral tunics, to least a pirate in bra, even pirates regretted. who returned to the scene of the crime to leave a note of apology. And well-paid crime fighters are now at the rendezvous, the police chiefs calling the pirates of the porch the bane of the holidays and investigators setting up infiltration operations such as "the operation Grinch Pinch "of the Fort Worth Police Department or Police in Wheeling, Virginia, leaving sneaky notes wishing fools fooled "Merry Christmas. But the security guards on the doorstep are the most entertaining. There is even a guy in Tacoma, Washington, who markets a device that triggers a 12-gauge white from the moment a pirate raises the bait packet. A woman from the US Department who was fed up with being stolen from nearly $ 1,000 of her Capitol Hill porch left a pretty impressive gift for her pirates: a box full of poop from her two dogs. "It did not stop them, though," reports Andrea Hutzler. What stopped them was a combination of research and teamwork after Nancy Drew spotted a white truck moving away, a neighborhood focus group identified the truck and obtained the license plate. The police used the license plate to find the driver, who eventually blamed his partner, Hutzler said. This did not stop other Porch pirates from infiltrating. How did she finally stop the flights? "We moved in. We are now in northern Virginia," she said, "I have lived in Illinois, Houston, New Orleans, and abroad. Is never produced anywhere except DC " [Two teens arrested for more than 30 package thefts] My husband and I have been fighting for years. The first time this happened, it is with an Internet router that we ordered online. It was snowing and the thief has left footprints. We followed them, only to find the bubble wrap, the receipt, the empty box, and then the road, where the impressions ended. The second time we had a package stolen – thinking we were going to avoid that by requiring a signature – the person who intercepted the signed package. The signature said "Cathy Lanier", then chief of the Washington police. So we stopped sending valuables to the house. Then the flights became annoying. When a bowl of five pounds of crimson I ordered to make a princess cake for a girl friend, I searched the neighborhood, found the box, found the vat, found the wad of purple fudge in the bushes . I've learned to make my own fondant this year. Hacking a porch is not an easy crime to follow because not everyone pays it. If you just search Google for the "stolen Amazon package", as people did at Schorr packaging, you'll see San Francisco at the top of the list, followed closely by Seattle, Minneapolis, Boston, Portland and Washington. But another survey suggests that big cities are not the only place where thieves operate. A survey conducted last year by video security company Blink revealed that rural residents of North Dakota, Vermont, Maine, New Mexico, Mississippi and Arkansas have reported the largest number of people who saw their parcels searched. This map also looks a bit like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's opioid crisis card. Packages in less densely populated rural areas are the target of drug addicts who have become thieves. Of course, not all extracted packages come from Amazon. (Amazon was founded by Jeffrey P. Bezos, owner of the Washington Post.) But as consumer habits evolve towards ecommerce and Amazon packages are covered with Amazon logos, Porch Pirates would likely opt for the Amazon package rather than for Santa's stickers. , a return address starting with "Grandma" and "Fragile! Cookies inside! "Written on. [We’re shopping online as often as we take out the trash] And Amazon is anything but transparent about the number of stolen packages. I parodied for a moment with one of their PR representatives, who said everything was "in the background, no direct quotes" and did not provide a number of reported packages stolen, the financial damage caused by these thefts to Amazon or what, exactly Amazon has policy to replace everything that was stolen. It's my personal experience, it's case by case. Sometimes they sent me something else, without any problem. Other times I stiffened myself. The guy from Amazon said the Amazon lockers as an option to prevent theft. (Of course, but they are not always as practical as they seem.) And he explained the tracking of the package by Amazon. They even have new features in which you let the driver enter your home or car to leave the package. Hey, thanks. The pirates of the porch are essentially thieves on display. When shoplifters visit physical stores, they cost retailers about $ 42 billion a year. The stores have security guards and cameras, and they take the hit when something is stolen. In the e-commerce version of theft on display, David, the theft prevention is now upon us, while Goliath shrugs. And they are not vigilant citizens, they are cash-strapped police departments that set up undercover operations and follow camera tracks at home doing the work of which the big stores surface were responsible. Pretty smooth, huh? Good shopping. Do not forget the trap. Twitter: @petulad .