UPS offers options to avoid porch pirates this holiday shopping season

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It's that time of year. Box after box is being delivered to homes as holiday shopping is in full swing.

It's that time of year. Box after box is being delivered to homes as holiday shopping is in full swing.

It's also when porch pirates are out looking for packages to steal.

"We see people having those packages delivered to the residence and then people follow those trucks around, and sneak up behind them and pick up those packages," said Lieutenant Joseph Weiss, Merced Police.

A sign with instructions sits outside Janet Kasper's home in Merced after her packages were stolen.

She waited for the door to ring, and would periodically check and see if the boxes arrived.

Kasper then checked her surveillance camera app and found something alarming.

Moments after the packages were delivered, two suspects were at her porch taking the boxes within seconds.

"It turns your stomach, your stomach turns. I called law enforcement, did a police report, then posted on the ring neighborhood watch," Kasper said.

Merced Police say for the past two years, they've had at least 100 petty thefts during the month of December.

Police say once packages are stolen, they're nearly impossible to return.

"They're pretty quick about grabbing the packages and removing any type of markings from the packings," Weiss said.

UPS store owners say customers do have some options.

They can either rent a mailbox to have packages sent at the facility or arrange a delivery with the store.

"They give us a call, and let us know they want their packages delivered to our store instead, we'd give them our info, they send it with their name and our address and we'd sign it for them," said Danene Villa, UPS branch owner.

Folks can also sign up for Informed Delivery with the United States Postal Service.

As for Kasper, she's working on getting a digital lock for her door before she has anything else delivered.

"Right now, I'm not ordering. I have ceased ordering," Kasper said.

Police also recommend coordinating with family or neighbors who may be available to pick up your package while you're away from home.
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porch pirateUPSMerced
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