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Local businesses providing protection from 'porch pirates'

"You work so hard to provide for you family and provide at Christmas time, nice gifts for the people you love. To have someone climb steps and pick it up, it's infuriating."

ST. LOUIS – Allison Hillman has had more than a dozen packages stolen from the front porch from her Benton Park West home.

“The porch pirates want to come snatch it,” Hillman said. “You work so hard to provide for your family and provide at Christmas time, nice gifts for the people you love. To have someone climb steps and pick it up, it's infuriating.”

It was so excessive, Amazon thought she was lying about it and required her to file police reports.

But, Hillman said she has found a way around the porch pirates.

She has her packages shipped to access points, which are local businesses that will receive packages from UPS and FedEx and store packages until buyers pick them up.

“Their tracking number will show that it's coming to the store now and they can come and pick it up,” said Danielle Reamey, who works at Local Harvest, which has become an access point.

Reamey said the packages are overflowing in their storage area, but being an access point has an added benefit. It’s drawing online shoppers to an unlikely place: an actual store.

“Some of our customers have been in this neighborhood for 10 years,” Reamey said. “They've seen us and they've never been inside.”

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