How to stop theft of delivered holiday packages

UPS and FedEx offer tips for making sure your holiday packages aren't stolen.
(Photo: The Daily Advertiser File Photo)
UPS and FedEx offer tips for making sure your holiday packages aren't stolen. (Photo: The Daily Advertiser File Photo)

(The Daily Advertiser) – With holiday season upon us, many will be ordering gifts online.

Around 23 million people said their packages have been stolen from their homes, according to a December 2015 survey from insuranceQuotes.com. An Abbeville man was arrested last week for allegedly stealing a package from the front porch of a house in Youngsville.

How can you enjoy shopping from home in your pajamas without fearing someone will lift your gifts before you touch them?

Package delivery service UPS offers two free services that work in conjunction with one another to offer some protection.

With UPS My Choice, customers receive push notifications via text or email telling them when their package will be arriving “so you can better plan your day,” Matt O’Connor, UPS spokesman, said. The free service, he said, also allows customers to change the delivery date if they won’t be home or re-route the package to a neighbor, friend or relative who can sign for its delivery.

The related free service is called UPS Access Point Network, O’Connor said The network offers more than 8,000 retail locations across the country, including delis, convenience stores, dry cleaners and The UPS Store locations. Through My Choice, customers can opt to have their packages re-routed to their favorite Access Point location, where they can pick them up later, he said.

“They’re selected based on the ability to keep the packages in a secure location,” O’Connor said, and they offer convenient evening and weekend access.

Rival FedEx offers the following tips to avoid the theft of packages this holiday season:

  • Consider an alternate destination like your workplace or a friend who is home during the day to accept the delivery.
  • Send the package to the nearest FedEx office location, which will hold it for up to five business days at no extra cost.
  • Require a signature so that your item won’t be left unattended.
  • Leave instructions. You can use FedEx Delivery Manager to let the driver know you want him to ring your doorbell or knock on the door when a package is left. You can also use the delivery manager service to tell the driver where on your property you want the package left.
  • If something comes up and you won’t be home on the day you expect delivery, you can us FedEx Delivery Manager to redirect the package to another secure location.

Others suggest installing a security camera so that, if a theft occurs, you have proof for insurance purposes and to help police find the culprit. Surveillance video at a Youngsville home led to the arrest last week of an Abbeville man who allegedly admitted he stole a package from the the resident’s porch.

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