Protecting your holiday deliveries from thieves

This Cyber Monday was record setting. Americans spent more than $3 billion online. All of those items purchased will be delivered soon, and News 2 has the three things you can do to make sure those gifts end up under the tree, not in the hands of thieves.

One shopper, Karen Cleary, says, “They do rip us off all the time in our neighborhood, which is kind of sad. I think some people do their holiday shopping at everyone else’s front door. That’s a true statement!”

The US Postal Service alone expects to deliver more than $750 million packages this holiday season, and while they make sure that package ends up on your doorstep, there are some things you can do to make sure it’s not snatched before you get home.

One, choose the delivery location wisely. Send it to your office, or schedule the delivery when you know you will be home.

Charleston Police Sergeant Trevor Shelor says, “It can be taken directly to a FEDEX store, UPS store, or the post office to hold it where you can come and get it from them directly and it’s not sitting on the porch anywhere, and that is probably the most secure way.”

Two, customize the delivery.

One shopper, Samuel Hunter, says, “Maybe write something on the door, leave a note and say, ‘if I’m not here don’t drop it off’, that would probably be a good idea.”

You can add delivery requests online to make sure someone has to be there to sign for it, or ask the driver to put it in a concealed location.

Sgt. Shelor says, “You can put instructions for them to put it behind the gate, behind the planter, at least to disguise it from the street, or to deliver it to the next-door neighbor at whatever house number, just make sure you trust that person too.”

Three, don’t advertise your purchases when putting out the trash.

Sgt. Shelor says, “When someone gets the big screen TV or the new Xbox system, particularly things in large boxes, they have a tendency to put all the trash and wrapping paper in that box and put it out by the garbage can, and that’s just advertising to crooks up and down the street what new electronics are in the home.”

You can hide those boxes by crushing them up and putting them in your closed recycling bin. And if a package is poached from your porch, call the police immediately.

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