From Senior Lead Officer Maria Gray, LAPD
Holiday Crime Prevention Tips: Package Theft
During the holiday season, the number of delivered package thefts skyrocket. Thieves literally follow the UPS and Fed Ex trucks throughout the neighborhood and scoop up the delivered packages right off front porches. It’s a very, VERY, common crime, especially this time of year, and it’s time to consider changing your online shopping practices to prevent becoming a victim.
Here are a few tips to consider:
Use Smart Lockers or Convenience Stores
Amazon now allows you to pick up your delivery in Amazon Locker
with a unique code,
which you can punch into the machine to retrieve your package in selected locations across the country. When putting down shipping address during the checkout process, you can find out whether the Amazon locker is available in your region or not. If you are a frequent online shopper, you can also consider The UPS Store
, or check the availability of lockers in nearby convenience stores
or buy your own digital locker
Have Packages Delivered to Your Workplace or Trusted Neighbor
Having your package delivered to your office will reduce the risk of package theft or package loss significantly (given that your company allows that and there are coworkers available in the office to retrieve your package). Or perhaps ask a trusted neighbor that is retired or works from home to use their address as your package destination address.
Install a Smart Security Camera at Your Front Door
A ‘Smart’ security camera system may not only serve as a deterrent for criminals but will also alert you in real time as to what’s happening on your front porch. The motion detection triggers an alert or alarm sending notifications to your phone the second movement is detected. It also provides for you to save the footage if you do experience a theft. And if the thieves are ultimately arrested, the footage can help in the prosecution. It can also serve to substantiate a theft for refund and/or replacement.
Require Signature on Delivery
Consider asking for a signature-required delivery. If your package is delivered by UPS, consult your sender and require delivery confirmation signature. Signature-required delivery should be strictly followed by couriers. If your package was left unattended, or even worse, lost, because they didn’t follow the protocol, delivery companies may be liable and you may be entitled to a full refund or replacement if you didn’t get a proof of delivery when you demand delivery by signature.
Reroute or Reschedule Delivery
If you are not sure whether or not you are going to be home to receive your package when the delivery truck pulls up to your front door, you can track the shipment information either on a package tracking app or order the information in advance.
Both UPS and FedEx offer web apps to help reroute parcels to another address and reschedule your package delivery at your convenience for a fee. For example, FedEx’s Delivery Manager and UPS My Choice premium membership is available for a nominal fee per year.
Require Vacation Package Hold
If you are going away for the holidays, you can place a hold on your package to keep your parcel safe. Many delivery companies such as USPS and FedEx offer a free service to hold your package at their terminals or delivery centers for a certain amount of time.
Insure Your Upcoming Packages
Consider insuring your parcels in the first place to ensure you will receive a reimbursement if your delivery was unfortunately stolen or lost before you get your hands on it.