BPD: 6 ways to avoid package theft this holiday season

BOSTON — Jenn Emkjer said there’s always added anxiety having a package delivered to her East 5th Street condo.

“It’s super disheartening to have to come outside every day and wonder who is going to grab your stuff or take your things,” Emkjer said.

Emkjer said her South Boston neighborhood is notorious for “porch pirates,” thieves who steal packages right off doorsteps, and investigators anticipate the problem will get worse with the holidays approaching. There were 36 reports of package theft across the city between Nov. 15 and Nov. 28, according to data from the Boston Regional Intelligence Center.

“Obviously we expect it to increase as we head into the holiday season, as it does every year,” Boston Police Spokesperson Sgt. John Boyle told Boston 25 in an email.

BPD posted six tips on the department’s Facebook page to avoid home delivery theft this holiday season:

Send the package to the residence of a trusted friend or relative who you know will be home. Be sure that the friend is ready and waiting to retrieve the package when the doorbell rings.

Ask the package delivery company to hold the package if you will not be home (many have local delivery centers). While we can’t promise that this service is available, there are companies that will hold a package for up to 5 days.

Request that your package be marked “signature required.” This requires the delivery person to stand by and wait until you’re available to retrieve the package. You could also put a note on your door, requesting the deliverer go to your next-door neighbor for the signature.

Leave special instructions on where to deliver the package. A good place is on the side or back of the house so that the package is out of sight from the road. Ask the delivery person to take and discard the note with him/her or leave it with the package.

Use a company that provides a tracking service and check online to see when your package is scheduled to arrive.

Have the items shipped to the nearest store for “in-store pick-up.”

If you have an understanding boss, have your packages delivered to you at work.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Community Service Officers of your district. These simple tips can help make the holidays much less stressful and protect your deliveries. Have a safe and happy holiday!!!