HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in online shopping, which has led to a rise in stolen packages.
“Thieves are going to be out in full force,” said David Walton, United States Postal Service corporate communications director.
The United States Postal Service is offering tips on how you can stop porch pirates.
“If you’re going out of town, you might consider having your mail put on hold at the post office, instead of risking leaving a package unattended,” Walton said.
Walton says planning ahead, securing shipments and monitoring your front door are great ways to prevent stolen orders.
“I know nowadays people have cameras on their front door, and that’s great and all, but make sure that the camera is on the front door,” Walton said. “If someone would happen to come up on your porch and take a package, it does capture them on video.”
If your package doesn’t fit inside your mailbox, you can leave instructions online and authorize your carrier to leave it in a specific location.
“Maybe at the back door or maybe behind a potted plant, all you have to do is go to USPS.com, enter the tracking number and you can select delivery instructions,” Walton said.
Walton says the post office does all it can to make sure every delivery stays at its destination.
“Would be thieves, they follow delivery trucks around the neighborhood,” Walton said. “Our carriers, they’re the eyes and ears of all the neighborhoods, and if they notice something suspicious, they won’t think twice about calling the police. We’re always on the lookout for any suspicious going on in the neighborhoods. It’s just part of the role we play in delivering the mail.”
If you receive deliveries through FedEx, you can sign up for its delivery manager program, where you can track, redirect and request holds for your packages for free.
If you receive deliveries through UPS, you can sign up for UPS MY CHOICE, whic provides real-time delivery updates, personal alerts on when and where your package is delivered and more.
What happens if your package does get stolen?
If your delivery carrier is with UPS, you can inform UPS about the issue and file a claim.
If it’s a FedEx package, you can also file a five-step claim to get the issue resolved.
If your delivery carrier was USPS, you can do a three-step missing mail search.