Crime

State police warn of holiday package thefts

Roughly 35 percent of Americans say they have packages sent to an address other than their home to prevent theft, according to a survey by Shorr Packaging.
Roughly 35 percent of Americans say they have packages sent to an address other than their home to prevent theft, according to a survey by Shorr Packaging. The Washington Post

The Pennsylvania State Police on Tuesday issued a warning to residents about holiday package theft.

According to Consumer Affairs, an estimated 23 million Americans will have their packages stolen and more than 4,000 customers will file complaints against shipping companies this year, the release said.

State College police confirmed that the department regularly receives reports of holiday package theft.

The trend has increased annually, and there are no signs of the trend slowing, according to the release. Package thieves will commonly drive through neighborhoods looking for items to steal and may even follow delivery trucks, only to steal the items as soon as the delivery truck leaves the area.

The state police recommend that consumers consider where they will be when a package is scheduled to be delivered. Consumers should also consider requiring a signature upon delivery, having a package delivered to a local UPS store and other protective options. Those who see something strange are urged to report the information to the authorities with as much detail as possible.

There is one place that seems to be avoiding the problem. Penn State police Sgt. Monica Himes said her department has not received any reports of theft.

The lack of reports on campus is because of how the university makes students pick up their packages.

“There is a central pick-up, and the packages aren’t delivered. Students are notified that a package is available for pick-up, and they have to show their ID. Everything is logged,” Himes said.

Bret Pallotto: 814-231-4648

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