Take these preventative measures to avoid holiday package pilfering

Posted at 6:44 PM, Dec 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-11 18:44:24-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – It may be the most wonderful time of the year for most of us, but for thieves, the holidays are also ripe with opportunity.

There's a greater chance of becoming a victim as more packages make their way onto doorsteps.

"The availability is there, and there's more opportunity," said Lt. Christopher Eley, with Henrico Police.

The temptations are easy to spot no matter which county you are in; package after package sitting outside homes in different neighborhoods.

According to Chesterfield Police there have been five reports of packages stolen from homes since Thanksgiving.

One incident happened near Dee Depcrynski's home.

"People spend their hard earned money on presents for their family, so you hate that people would go out and do that," she said.

In Henrico, police said they have had four reported package thefts during that same time frame.

Henrico Police have some advice to avoid becoming a victim.

"You can have it where you actually require a signature to deliver so that way someone is there to receive it, the second is schedule your delivery when you are going to be home," said Lt. Christopher Eley.

Additionally, most major delivery providers offer a text or email notification upon delivery. At least that way, if you can’t be home, you will be notified as to when your package was delivered.

That gives you a time frame to reference if anything does go awry, or perhaps you could stop by at lunch to pick up your package, or have a neighbor do so.

CBS 6 reached out to Richmond Police regarding their numbers. A spokesman said they were not able to provide the numbers within the time frame allotted. A spokesman for the department said that the way they collect data would "take hours and be expensive" to assemble for this report. 

If you do become a victim, Lt. Eley said its best to first call the person from whom you ordered the package.

He said to then contact law enforcement and allow them to handle the follow-up and investigation.