Troubleshooter: Protect your online holiday buys from porch pirates

It's considered the Super Bowl of the shopping season, Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday the National Retail Federation anticipates 164 million Americans will shop and a big chunk of those purchases will be done online.

If you're buying online, you want to make sure those packages headed your way don't get into the wrong hands. Investigators say mail and package theft is one of the biggest problems around the holiday season.

Last year, local police, made several arrests involving porch pirates. This is where police say thieves steal packages right off of the front porch in broad daylight. ranked the Raleigh-Durham area as the fifth most likely metro area in the country for package theft this year after analyzing 2017 FBI larceny data. Here are some steps to take to try and protect yourself against porch pirates:

--Send your package to the delivery company's pick-up stations. Amazon has lockers at Whole Food stores. Fed Ex and UPS have retail locations all over that will accept your package.
--Send your package to a family member or friend who is home or who lives in a housing complex where the package will be dropped off indoors.
--U.S. Postal Service customers can pick up valuable and perishable merchandise at a designated post office.
--Requiring a signature can add security as it provides a record of delivery and is available electronically.
--Get text or email notifications when a package is delivered to your door
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