Package thefts on the rise during the holidays

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — At this point after Cyber Money, a lot of people are getting packages delivered to their doors, and that’s tempting for porch pirates, or people who steal packages from in front of people’s homes.

Both police say there’s an increase in the number of thefts from porches this time of year…A few days after the start of the biggest shopping season of the year. But there are a lot of easy ways to make it harder for thieves.

If you’re away from home during the day, you’re not there to answer the door when a delivery comes and bring a package inside.

“UPS offers UPS My Choice, which allows you to get updates on packages when they’re delivered, text messages on your phone, there’s an app for that,” said Mark Miller, the manager of a UPS Store in Lynchburg.

If you can’t make it home when the package arrives, or if you’re worried of people who follow delivery trucks around, there are ways to secure your deliveries.

“You can actually have your packages sent here to the UPS Store instead of having them pile up on your doorstep,” said Miller. “No porch pirates here.”

Nobody from FedEx was available to speak, but they also let you redirect packages to a nearby store for pickup.

“We accept packages from all carriers,” said Miller, “the Post Office, FedEx, all our competitors, we take their packages here as well.”

If you’re ordering from Amazon, you can have packages shipped to an Amazon Hub Locker.

Near Lynchburg, there are lockers in Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Altavista.

Doorbell cameras can help ward off thieves, and if your packages do get stolen, police say they’ve had success lately in finding thieves.

“With our intelligence-led policing, it’s really important for us to know if there’s a cluster of this happening and things like that, and we want to look into it, so we ask them to call and file a report,” said Carrie Dungan with the Lynchburg Police Department.

You can have packages shipped to your office or to a neighbor who is home during the day, or you can ask a neighbor to grab packages off your porch for you and hold them until you get home.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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