Simple steps can help keep holiday package deliveries safe

December 06, 2017 05:21 PM

It's the most wonderful time of the year -- for thieves eager to swipe your package deliveries from outside your own front door. It's happening around the country and right here in the Capital Region. Surveillance cameras have been catching plenty of these gift grabbers in the act, but there are a few new ways you can stop them before they start.

The seasonal spike in online shopping comes with a seasonal spike in thefts of those holiday packages. It's not a new problem and it's not going away.

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"People have ordered stuff online, had it delivered to their house and have had the items stolen from their doorsteps," pointed out Albany Public Information Officer Steve Smith.

Smith says packages are disappearing all over the city, but noted incidents on Washington Avenue and Western Avenue, along with Ontario Street and Wilkins Avenue.

"They tracked the package, they've seen that it has been delivered. When they get home, it's not there. Usually, you call the company and determine that the package was delivered and likely stolen," explained Smith.

Unfortunately, there's been no surveillance video of the Albany thefts.

Some of the typical suggestions on how you can prevent package thefts are to have them delivered to your work or back door instead of the front door.

A newer option is to have them delivered to places like Whole Foods and other supermarkets. Amazon Locker is available to Amazon shoppers who would rather pick up their purchases at participating stores like Whole Foods in Albany. You get assigned a locker number and combination - and are notified when your package is waiting for you. If you order from major retailers, Smith suggests a similar strategy.

"You can order online, but have it delivered to the store in the area. That's something I personally did recently with a gift I bought. Rather than have it sent to my house, I'll pick it up at the store after work one night," he pointed out.

The basic gist -- don't make yourself a target.

"It's absolutely a crime of opportunity and it means that people need to take the proper precautions when ordering online," advised Smith.

Another option is to have your packages delivered to a trusted friend or relative, who is more likely to be home during the day.


WNYT Staff

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