Thieves target holiday deliveries in Central Virginia

Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 11, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Police are sounding the alarm about an uptick in package thefts as many people order holiday gifts online to avoid the pitfalls of the mall.

Travis Henschel said when he tracked the package he recently ordered, it showed the item had been delivered to his Church Hill home. But by the time he got home, the item was gone.

"There's more of a worry for being in the city... because we're gone a lot of time at school. So someone can come and take them," Henschel said.

Henschel said some delivery drivers do try to make sure packages are hidden by leaving them behind a recycling bin or underneath a doormat to camouflage them.

Richmond police are advising folks ordering online to sign for all deliveries.

Richmond Police Lt. Tim Wyatt said that some unscrupulous people are on the lookout for holiday goodies -- and that Church Hill is just one neighborhood where police are seeing a slight uptick in package thefts.

Police in Chesterfield confirm they are starting to experience package thefts, too. And Henrico police are looking into a number of similar cases.

Police said if you work during the day, have your deliveries shipped to your office, a family member or neighbor.

Lt. Wyatt also pointed out that unguarded packages could compromise your personal information.

"So in essence, you're opening yourself up to being a crime victim if these packages are out there and they're taken,"  Lt. Wyatt said. "Somebody has the means and the ability and the skill, they can steal your identity."