Police offer tips on avoiding thefts of gifts shipped home - WSMV News 4

Police offer tips on avoiding thefts of gifts shipped home

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Many folks will soon be thinking about holiday shopping, and this year - more of it than ever - will happen online.

However, the convenience could lead to an increase in crime as packages delivered to the front porch can easily become a target for thieves.

"I pretty much do all of my shopping through Amazon," said online shopper Rick Harvey.

Packages show up to Harvey's front porch in Franklin all the time. And, according to police, so too does a risk.

"The temptation is certainly there to come up and take it right off the front porch with nobody able to see it," said Franklin police Officer Eric Johnson.

Every year, surveillance video surfaces that shows thieves swiping boxes. It happens quickly with, usually, no witnesses or proof.

"Most homes don't have security cameras like a business would," Johnson said.

With that in mind, police suggest you consider a few ideas:

  • Post a note, sending deliveries to your back porch instead of the front - or use the comments section on the order form to relay the same message.
  • Opt to have the package shipped to a nearby FedEx or UPS location and go pick it up at their business.
  • Consider asking a neighbor to collect your package once it arrives
  • Have the package shipped to work.

"That's what I did, so my wife doesn't find out what she's getting," Johnson said.

Harvey has his own system. He signs up for text alerts and quickly heads home to snag any packages before they fall in the wrong hands.

"I don't think anyone should assume that you can be safe anywhere," Harvey said. "Even if you live out in remote areas, I think that every place is a possibility."

Police also said if you happen to become a victim, don't ignore it. They say you should file a police report. The odds are you are not the only victim in your neighborhood, and any information could help catch the crook.

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