File photo.

Porch pirate season is here. If you’re doing some online shopping for the holidays, today the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has brought back “Operation Pinch-A-Grinch.” The program keeps those grinches who steal packages from your front door from getting away with your stuff.

How does it work? Simple. Instead of shipping a package to your own address, you have Amazon or whatever retailer you’re buying from send the package to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. When it arrives, you just show your ID and pick it up from one of two Tampa locations. They takes packages from Amazon, FedEx, UPS and USPS up to 50 pounds in weight. There’s no charge for the service but you must be a Hillsborough County resident. You can choose from two offices to have the package delivered to. Just be sure to use this format below.

c/o Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
7202 Gunn Highway
Tampa, FL 33625

c/o Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
10128 Windhorst Road
Tampa, FL 33619

A couple things to note. There will be no pickup service available on Thanksgiving day or the day after. Otherwise pick up hours are Monday through Friday from 7am to 8pm. Weekend hours are from 11:30am to 7:30pm. Be sure to bring an order receipt and your ID. HCSO says they are not responsible for damaged packages. They say any severely damaged packages will not be accepted from the delivery drivers. The pick up service began today (November 8, 2021) and is available right up to December 21. Packages received after December 21 will not be accepted. If you have any questions, you can call the Gunn Highway location at 813-247-0330 or the Windhorst Road branch at 813-318-5400.

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