Amarillo, TX - With the surge of shopping during the holiday season, police are already warning the public about package theft.
This year is expected to be one of the biggest for cyber Monday sales, and thieves are well aware of that.
They call it porch pirating. You order a package, it's delivered to your door, and thieves steal it before you can bring it inside.
In fact, one of our viewers who lives in the Bivins neighborhood has already experienced this first-hand. She says she asked the company to leave her package out of plain sight, but per policy, they must leave it on the doorstep.
"We ask that our customers stay proactive and keep their tracking numbers, and also just kind of be alert for when you're expecting your packages to arrive so you can be on the lookout for the package itself," says Todd Warnick with UPS.
"I think that when we have the holidays approach, you're right, we'll have a lot more of it because there's a lot more opportunity for these people to get out here and steal things that are left on the doorstep and it's been a problem and I think it'll continue to be a greater problem as more and more people shop online," says Sgt. Brent Barbee.
So what can you do to ensure the safety of your precious packages? Both Barbee and Warnick say it's pretty simple. Keep your tracking number close, and know when and where your package will be delivered.
"When you send a package to another person, you can opt to have that additional service put on to have somebody sign for your package and so that actually helps to combat it as well," says Warnick.
"Have a trusted relative, neighbor, or friend help you watch," says Barbee. "A lot of times we've had people that make agreements with their neighbors. Hey if you watch for my packages and bring them in, I'll watch for your packages and bring them in. Another option we've seen people use is to have the package held at the facility and then the customer is notified and they come out to pick it up."
Residents aren't the only ones who have to be on the lookout. Warnick says they now train drivers to spot the pirates following their vehicles.