KITCHENER -- With holiday shopping season ramping up, OPP are warning of "porch pirates" that could spoil your Christmas.

Police say each holiday season they get more reports of these types of thefts.

Earlier this month, members of the Wellington County OPP made an arrest after pet medication was stolen off of a porch in Ferus.

"There have been incidents where people just drive around or walk around the neighbourhood looking for that unsecure, unprotected package," OPP Const. Joshua Cunningham said.

In many cases surveillance video captures the so-called porch pirate in the act, but it is usually of little help to frustrated shoppers.

"The reality is it's going to be someone new to the neighbourhood that's looking for a quick grab," said Cunningham.

Police say there are a number of steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a porch thief.

The number one tip is to not schedule a delivery when you won't be home, but if that's not possible, police recommend asking a friend for help.

"Have a neighbour or friend receive that package on your behalf," he suggests.

Some of the shoppers are able to recover the loss directly from the company they purchased from, but often this experience leaves the buyer completely out of pocket.