How to prevent holiday package theft - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

How to prevent holiday package theft

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(KWWL) -

More holiday shopping this time of year, means more packages sitting on your front porches, which are prime targets for porch thieves. Here are some helpful tips to prevent your holiday package from being stolen. 

Experts say one solution is a surveillance camera, but delivery companies and online retailers say there are ways you can protect the deliveries before they get to your door.

  • Consider an alternate destination. When you order something online, consider sending the package to your workplace or to a family member, friend or neighbor who is home during the day to accept the delivery.
  • Request a signature. If you're shipping something of high value, or just want to be sure items aren't left unattended-you can require a  signature for packages to be released. Either the shipper or the recipient can make this request. 
  • You can ask the U.S. Postal Service to put packages in an area other than the front door, through USPS.com, you can customize your delivery with special instructions
  • You can also hold packages at a FedEx location.
  • UPS offers an option called My Choice, were customers can provide delivery instructions. 
  • Amazon allows shoppers to have packages delivered to a pickup store instead. 

With gift-giving season in it's peak, porch thefts are happening in neighborhoods throughout the country. Cedar Falls Police Captain Jeff Harrenstein warns residents to be cautious this season. 

"It is not uncommon for people to put up video in front of their home," said Harrenstein. "Whether it's visible or not, and that way if a package is taken there's evidence of it. So If you have insurance on it, there's some evidence that it was stolen. Otherwise, that evidence is useful to the police department to track down the person who's responsible."

Regardless of what precaution you take, Harrenstein offers a simple reminder. 

"It's always just good to have neighbors watching out for each other," said Harrenstein. "Often times these are reported by suspicious vehicles driving around the neighborhoods or people walking up to doors and ringing doorbells to see if anybody is home."

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