While the holiday season may brings good tidings, it also brings out the Grinch to steal holiday packages from porches.
Police report that cross the country the package theft has increased. Even if thieves are caught in the act on video cameras, they still get escape arrest. CyberMonday this year was the biggest since 2010, meaning more packages will be delivered to porches, easy picking for thieves. Although statistics are not available, UPS spokesman Andy McGowan has stated “a very small number” of packages are stolen.
Even if package theft is not higher than normal, you can still take measures to protect yourself and your packages.
Whether shipping a package or requesting a package be shipped to you, for a small fee you can add “Signature Confirmation” to make sure somebody signs for it when it is delivered. Although not foolproof, it increases the chance your won’t be left unattended on a porch for a thief to steal.
Both UPS and FedEx allows you to set up delivery windows for a $5-$10 fee. Members of UPS’s “My Choice” program can make as many requests such as these for a $40 annual fee. FedEx’s “Delivery Manager” program has free options such as a 14-day vacation hold, and you can also specify a location where your delivery can be placed, such as behind plants, gates, or grills.
Major mail carriers let you re-route your packages to a local mail office. UPS spokesman McGowan notes,”These centers can serve as a ‘mailroom receiving agent’ and offer a real street address, secure 24-hour access (at participating locations) and email or text notification when you have a package waiting.” For FedEx this is free, but both UPS and USPS charge a fee. UPS also accepts packages from other carriers.
If you’re not going to be home to when a package is scheduled to be delivered, you may be able to ask a neighbor or friend to wait for your package for you. According to Sheriff Anthony Wickersham of Michigan’s Macomb County, “Neighbors protect neighbors by flagging suspicious activity to each other and the police.”
If you become a victim of package theft, check your credit card to see if they offer theft protection. File a police report of the theft, then send the report and any additional information to your credit card company. Most major credit cards will refund purchases up to $500, $1000, or more, depending on their policies.