Postal inspector offers tips to avoid falling victim to package thieves

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The holiday shopping season is just around the corner, but with all those holiday packages landing on doorsteps, comes with an increased risk for package theft.

The holiday shopping season typically means a sharp increase in mail delivered during the holiday season, in large part due to online shopping. Postal inspector Dan Taylor says because of that increase, package theft increases as well.

“The increase in thefts is really proportionate to the amount of mail coming through the system,” Taylor said.

Taylor says package theft is typically a crime of opportunity. However, he adds that a few proactive measures can significantly reduce your risk of becoming a package theft victim; such as requiring a signature confirmation, tracking shipments online, purchasing shipping insurance, and never leaving packages unattended for long periods of time.

“Just like you wouldn’t leave your purse or laptop sitting out in your car unlocked when you run into the store you don’t want to leave your mail or packages sitting on the doorstop,” Taylor said.

For those who don’t have the time for monitoring their packages, several businesses also offer safe storage options. Places like UPS and FedEx offer package drop off services. Online shopping retailer Amazon now offers delivery to secure lockers placed around the metropolitan area.

Package storage has also become an option for an increasing number of smaller businesses. The Holding Place, a business located near Broad Ripple houses packages and merchandise for those who don’t have the time to keep an eye on them. Owner Kerstin Thiel says she started the business after hearing the complaints of those whose packages had been stolen.

“No one wants to spend their hard-earned money and to come home and see that it has walked away,” Thiel said.

The postal service also recommends using tools like their informed delivery service as a way to keep tabs on what mail is coming and when.