Holiday shopping season attracts more package theft

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver a record 420 million packages by New Year's Eve and with the rise in deliveries comes a rise in delivery theft.

As shoppers work hard to find that perfect gift this holiday, its those brown boxes at your doorstep that may attract the wrong people.

Alvie Ramos is far from done with all his holiday shopping.

"I rather give a gift then receive a gift," he said.

Ramos hopes all his deliveries get to his loved ones, before thieves do all their gift shopping off their front porches.

"I pray that doesn't happen, the world needs a positive outlook on things," he said.

Law enforcement says packages left on door steps can be a prime opportunity for people to steal.

To avoid becoming a victim deputies suggest:

Requiring a signature at the time of delivery

Work with neighbors so, they can pick up boxes when you're not home

Have packages sent to a family member or friend's address

"I actually, ask for me to pick it up at the office," said Ramos.

If people live in an apartment complex, ask an on-site manager to hold any package at their office. People can also have their gifts delivered to work.

"To me, I want the packages to get there because it's the Christmas gifts for everybody. I don't want it to go missing," said shopper, Vanessa Claridge.

Deputies also suggest getting a P.O. Box or having carriers, like FedEx that offer the option of picking up deliveries at the store.

"It's nice to know that if it did go missing, I'm covered or else, I'll have to go re-buy everything," said Claridge.

Claridge who sends items to London and Australia, buys insurance at the post office every year.  She wants to make sure all her gifts are safely delivered so there's no repeat of a few years ago.

"I kept saying, did you get the Christmas box I sent? and they said, no, nothing has arrived.  Finally, they said it got lost and then it showed up two months later and it was stuck in a white truck in the middle of England somewhere," she said.

Kern County Sheriff's Office deputies say another good way to prevent theft this holiday season is by simply creating a neighborhood watch group.

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Carlos is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carloscorrea23abc

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