Protecting Holiday Shopping Packages
It’s the biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year, meaning you and millions of other Americans will be purchasing gifts for the holidays. That also means porch pirates may also be lurking, ready to spoil consumer’s holiday season.
"This is all opportunity based, someone drives by and they'll see packages stacked up on someone's front step," Cpl. Mike Panighetti of the Millcreek Police Department said. “If quite a few packages are there, and it looks like no one is keeping an eye on the place, they'll go and just help themselves and see what's inside of the packages. "
More than 25 million Americans say they had a package stolen from their porch or doorstep during the holiday season. While there are no perfect ways to prevent it, there are some actions consumers can take to deter potential criminals.
One step is tracking packages. Major delivery services like the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS all have tracking numbers on their packages that you can follow from shipment to delivery. Some even offer the option to give delivery instructions for the mail carrier. Another helpful option is requiring a signature for delivery. Some retailers will list this option before checking out online.
Shoppers can also take advantage of some of the modern technology like motion activated doorbells, such as Ring, with video cameras. Most will allow you to see live and/or recorded feeds on your phone.
"If you don't have that type of technology you can do some more classic things like make sure you have your packages shipped to your place of business or maybe one of the larger UPS or FedEx hubs and you can go ahead and pick them up yourselves there,” Panighetti said.
If you did receive an alert that your package was delivered but you can't find it, you can file a police report and reach out to the mail carrier. Some carriers will also encourage you to contact the original sender of the package to start a claim.