Police, delivery carriers offer tips on protecting holiday package deliveries

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Sioux Falls Police say they've already responded to several calls about stolen package over the last several weeks, but offered tips on how to protect yourself from package poachers.

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It's the busiest time of the year for delivery drivers -- and also for the people looking to steal your holiday presents.

"I got the notification that it had been delivered and set by my front door and then I came home about an hour later and couldn't find the package anywhere," Veronica Renes, a Sioux Falls resident said.

Renes said she and her roommate regularly have things delivered, but this past weekend, one of her packages went missing.

"And then a couple of days later I came home and my package was there and it had been opened clearly," Renes said. "And then they re-taped it with clear box tape."

It was an unusual turn of events. Renes thinks her package was returned because of what was inside.

"The product that I had purchased had personalized information on it and I think if it hadn't been a personalized item they might not have returned it to me," Renes said.

Sioux Falls Police Lt. John Duprey said package poachers are on the prowl.

"Over the past few weeks the Sioux Falls Police Department has responded to multiple package thefts off their front porch," Duprey said. "Obviously we're in that season where a lot of people are having packages delivered to their home."

But there are ways to prevent your presents from being poached. UPS and Fed Ex both advise having packages delivered where you are; at work for example. If that's not an option, there are others...

"[Ask] a neighbor to pick up the packages for you if you know you're not going to be home," Duprey said. UPS and Fed Ex both echoed this tip as well.

Both delivery services also have specific delivery locations that you can send packages too. And if you can ...

"Select a specific delivery time for when you know you're going to be home," Duprey said.

Another idea? Renes said you should take advantage of the chance to know where your goods are.

"If they have the option to do the text notifications -- do it so you know when your package is delivered and you're not waiting weeks till you realize it was delivered and it's no longer there," Renes said.

Both UPS and Fed Ex offer delivery management services so you can reschedule deliveries and even reroute your packages. UPS said you can also specifically request a delivery location at your home that might less visible to people looking to steal from you.

UPS said it delivers about 750 million packages during the holiday season and the majority of those are delivered successfully. If you do have a package stolen, UPS said you should immediately contact the shipper and file a police report.