Package theft expected to increase this holiday season

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – After record holiday sales online this week, millions of Americans are awaiting packages on their doorsteps, yet many of them may fall victim to package theft.

It’s happened to an estimated 23 million Americans. A new report expects these to increase 40% this holiday season.

WNCT went to local law enforcement to find out what can people do to protect themselves from porch pirates.

“If someone is riding by a house and they see an easy target, easy opportunity, they’re going to take it. So We just don’t want to make it easy for them. We need to try to find other ways of getting those packages to family, friends. If the business that you work at allows it, have it delivered to your business,” said Lieutenant Kip Gaskins with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office

Lt. Gaskins says people should report any incidents to law enforcement and they will investigate, yet it’s difficult to solve these unless there’s a witness or security camera footage.

USPS reps say carriers usually ring the doorbell when delivering, but it’s not policy to wait for an answer unless the sender or receiver requires a signature.

“We ask that our carriers put it in a safe location… On the porch or near the carport or near the garage so that it’s out of the way of criminals but still the customer can see it. Also online when they go to track their package, they’ll see the listing on in the mailbox, at the garage door, with a neighbor,” said USPS Postmaster Matthew Staley.

A survey by mobile app Nextdoor finds 61% of neighbors say they did not order an item because they feared it would be stolen.

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