How to protect your online shopping packages from thieves

Protect your packages this holiday season

As the Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas trees get closer and closer, so does the rush for holiday shopping.

Shoppers will head to stores and to their favorite online retailers this year, and we have tips to make sure your packages don’t get stolen.

You might be seeing more videos on your social media of front door cameras catching people stealing packages. Just this week, the Houston County Sheriff's Office says they identified a package thief from one of those videos.

RJ Hunter already has a plan ready to go for holiday shopping.

“I would say 50 percent online, 50 percent in the store,” Hunter said after having a package delivered Tuesday afternoon.

But the question is how do you protect those packages arriving at your door step?

This week, the Houston County Sheriff's Office released front door camera video on their Facebook page of a man they say took packages that didn't belong to him from a home on Amelia Drive in Byron.

The incident report lists the value at $171.  

Hunter says that's why he monitors closely where his packages are.

“With the tracking, I look it up to see where it's at and when it's exactly supposed to be delivered so I can look out for it or have someone else in the family look out for the package for me,” he said.

Warner Robins Police Chief Brett Evans says with the growing popularity of online shopping; thefts will likely become more frequent.

“Christmas shopping from home, and never have to go to the store, Black Friday deals are available online before Black Friday even gets here. So people are having everything delivered to their home. So, that in of itself is going to cause an increase in the package thefts just because it's a much bigger deal now,” Evans said on Tuesday.

Here are some ways you can protect your purchases:

Fed Ex recommends sending it to a family member, neighbor or workplace where you know someone will be there when it's delivered.

They also recommend requesting a signature, leaving delivery instructions and making sure packages won't arrive when you're on vacation.

Evans says front door cameras are becoming cheaper and better quality and provide more evidence to investigators. The Chief also said this also comes down to neighbors helping and keeping an eye out on other neighbors.

If you see a neighbor with a package sitting out offer to move it inside your home or theirs till someone gets back.

The anti-theft service, Package Guard, estimates 11 million homeowners have reported stolen packages in the past year and about three-quarters of those happen when people are at work.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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