Online shoppers beware: Protect your packages from theft this holiday season

12-6-17 Christmas package thefts

GREENVILLE, Pitt County – Delivery workers are working hard to make sure packages are getting to their destinations this holiday season, but are your packages really safe when they’re dropped off outside your home?

One home security survey found half of Americans said they know someone who has a package stolen from their front porch and one-third said they’ve experienced it themselves.

“We always have our security system on,” homeowner Kathy Chiang said. “I have four dogs — they let me know if anyone is right up here up front.”

Chances are if you drive through your neighborhood right now, you’ll see dozens of packages sitting outside of your friends’ doors. With more and more people shopping online this holiday season, it could be easier for thieves to steal those packages left on doorsteps.

“I always try to watch out for the UPS man and the Fed Ex guy and get my packages in quickly just to be on the safe side,” Chiang said. “I’ll let them drop it off on my front door but I always try to get back in and out to see if anything is on the front porch that I can pick up and put inside.”

Kristen Hunter with Greenville Police said there are things you can do to protect yourself and your newly delivered items.

“It is something that everyone needs to be aware of,” Hunter said. “More and more people are shopping online these days, which means more packages being delivered to their doors.”

Hunter said online shoppers should consider scheduling deliveries for when you or a trusted neighbor will be home, having your package delivered to another location such as your workplace, or even rerouting a package ahead of time if you know you won’t be there to receive it.

“Most important thing is just to keep an eye out,” Hunter said. “If you have neighbors that you trust, ask them to keep an eye out throughout the day — make sure there’s no suspicious activity in your neighborhood.”