Tips to protect deliveries from package thieves from the Sheriff’s office

The suspect in this photo was caught on surveillance camera stealing packages from a residence at the 20000 block of 29th Avenue Southeast in nearby Bothell. If you can identify him, please call the anonymous tip line at 425-388-3845. (Photo courtesy the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

Some think online shopping is more convenient than going to the mall during the holidays.

However, the increase in online shopping does allow for more opportunities for package thieves.

Package and mail theft reports to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office have tripled in recent weeks, according to a post on the office’s Facebook page. Almost 40 percent of package and mail thefts occurred in the Lynnwood area.

The vast majority, 98 percent, of thefts happen between the hours of 8:30-10 a.m. and 1-4 p.m., when packages are often delivered and homeowners are often away at work.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office offers these tips to protect deliveries:

It takes only seconds for a thief to steal from your porch, mailbox or doorstep. Here’s a few tips to protect your deliveries:

  • Hide packages. Give delivery services a specific spot to leave your packages (e.g.”behind the big planter” or “tucked behind the grill near the back door”).
  • Schedule the delivery. Pick a delivery time when you know someone will be home. Some services even have the option to receive an alert when a package has been delivered.
  • Request a signature. When shipping something of high value or just to be sure items aren’t left unattended, request a signature for packages to be released. For example, the USPS offers USPS Signature Services that require a signature at the time of delivery.
  • Going out of town? Place a vacation hold. Before leaving town, plan ahead to have packages held. FedEx allows vacation holds on shipments for up to 14 days and the USPS offers Hold for Pickup, where customers can collect packages at their local post office or redirect incoming packages to a different post office through USPS Package Intercept.
  • Request a ring. If possible, instruct delivery drivers to always ring your doorbell or knock on your door when leaving packages. FedEx Delivery Manager, for example, allows customers to leave those instructions.

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