Protecting your holiday packages from potential grinches

SOUTH CAROLINA (WCSC) - With the holiday season in full swing, many people are on the lookout for packages at their front door, but it may alert unwanted visitors.

A 2016 survey by states one in 10 people will have a package stolen from their home during the holidays.

Unfortunately Frosty and other blow up holiday decorations won't be able to come to life in order to prevent your holiday gifts from being swiped.

"Porch Pirates", as they're called, have been posted all over social media making people aware of holiday thefts.

These thieves are once again geared up for the season and ready to snag presents from your door.

"I've seen on our neighborhood Facebook page that there are people who talk about that from time to time, but often they have cameras," said Becky Wallick who shops online often.

More and more people are taking matters into their own hands during the holiday season buying surveillance cameras in order to catch a possible grinch.

"[We got it] just for safety to know who was at the door if I'm not home, or if there's a package left there I can call a neighbor and have them come get it," Wallick said.

Wallick has had her security system for almost two years.

She gets notifications when there's any sort of action going on near the cameras.

"It popped up on my phone that there was someone near my front door and that the door bell was rang," Wallick said.

"I think it will be an option down the road, but I think in our neighborhood we feel fairly safe," said Tim Pennekamp. "While we're gone we do turn on the security system."

For those folks less tech savvy, there's always the old fashion way of relying on neighbors and your delivery person.

"[We have] everyone look out for each other," Wallick said. "I live on a great street where we all do that."

"We tell the UPS, FedEx folks to place them in the garage or safely under some furniture on the front porch," Pennekamp said.

Law enforcement also suggests having your packages held at the post office or delivery company until you can pick them up.

According to the United States Postal Service more than 15 billion pieces of mail are expected to be delivered through the end of the year.

The USPS suggests the following in order to protect mail and packages during the holiday season:

  1. Avoid sending cash by mail.
  2. Don’t leave delivered mail and packages unattended.
  3. Consider an alternate shipping address.
  4. Change the package’s address – while it’s in transit!
  5. Customize the delivery.
  6. Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup.
  7. Hold mail at the local Post Office if you’re going out of town.
  8. Secure packages using signature delivery.
  9. Choose the most secure form of delivery.
  10. PO Boxes might be the answer.

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