SEATTLE — The Seattle-Tacoma area is the fifth worst metropolitan area when it comes to porch pirates, which is why police are being extra vigilant and asking residents to do their part this holiday season. 

Authorities are beefing up patrols as they try to deter thefts and catch thieves stealing packages off doorsteps. 

Seattle Police Department has done undercover operations in neighborhoods in the past. The department wouldn't confirm if something similar is going on now.

Mukilteo police and Mercer Island police are adding extra patrols in neighborhoods.

The Tacoma Police Department is reminding the community about its collection detection program, which is also being used in Puyallup. The program trains garbage collectors to keep their eyes out for suspicious activity as they make their rounds through the city's neighborhoods.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Department and Bellingham Police Department are asking people to turn in any video and pictures from their home security systems showing porch pirates. 

Mercer Island police have been able to identify, arrest and charge suspects thanks to the home security devices.

Here's what you can do to prevent these kinds of crimes: 

  • Have your packages delivered to your work, a neighbor, or friend's home where someone can receive them. 
  • Have your package held at your local post office, UPS, or FedEx store for pickup.
  • Use Amazon lockers available at secure locations.
  • Request packages to be placed out of sight.
  • Take advantage of "ship to store" options 
  • Request signature confirmation upon delivery