How to prevent package thefts this holiday season

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Law enforcement is issuing a warning as we head into the holiday season to protect packages being delivered to your home from potential thieves.

Criminals often take advantage of the uptick in deliveries this time of year, finding ways to get their hands on your gifts and other valuables before you get home.

Both FedEx and UPS offer tips to protect shipments, including having them delivered to your work place instead of your home when you know you won't be there to pick it up.

Some companies offer a feature that allows you to leave specific instructions for the driver so they'll know to leave the package in a more conspicuous place around your home if you choose.

Experts say the best way to ensure your package is safe while you're away is to ask your neighbor for a favor.

"Let one of the neighbors know that you trust to say, 'Hey, I got a package coming today, I'm not going to be home. If you'll just make sure that it gets put somewhere or come get it and pick it up after,'" said Officer Gene Piscitelli, with the Raleigh Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit.

He also pointed out that shoppers should be vigilant when storing gifts in their cars.

"We have more auto break-ins because people are leaving things visible inside of their cars," he said. "So when you're out shopping during the holiday season, we ask that you put it in the trunk or put it somewhere that it can't be seen because very easily, someone can break out a car window, reach inside, and take it and your alarm won't even go off."
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