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Cyber Monday kicks off holiday purchases, and prime time for package theft

Posted at 8:44 PM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 06:23:17-05

During the holidays, package theft is a serious concern for neighbors in Baltimore.

"A couple weeks ago my dad called me and was like when are you going to be home because I have a high value package coming in," Hampden Resident Erin Maze said her dad bought a new phone and had it delivered to the house.

She's lived in Hampden for 17 years, her parents lived here before her and she's never had a package stolen, but this year, she's worried.

"Especially with all the videos and there's like the Hampden crime page and you see a lot more stuff going on, yeah it's definitely a concern," Maze said.

Here's a few things you can do to make sure you get your package:

  • Under special instructions, ask the deliverer to put the package in a hidden spot (behind a bush, behind a wooden fence).
  • Ask neighbors to keep an eye out for your package, or even bring it inside their home.
  • Require a signature, from you or a neighbor, so the package isn't left on your front porch.
  • Have the package left at the Post Office.
  • Use Amazon Locker
  • Rent a P.O. Box

"If you're a bad guy and you see a package that's sitting there, what are you going to do? You might take a package," Detective Jeremy Silbert said.

Silbert said many people don't know about the option to require a signature for a package, and say more are starting to do just that.

About 57% of neighbors in Baltimore have had their package stolen, according to Nextdoor. Eighty percent say they don't order online because they're afraid it would get stolen, and 82% said they asked a neighbor to keep an eye out.

"I'm actually a city police officer too and so I work in the Northern district... we take reports constantly throughout the year, it's not just over the holidays but it really heats up this time of year," Neighbor Josh Laycock said about package theft.

Having an 18-month-old girl, getting their packages is very important. He said during his 14 years in Baltimore he hasn't had a problem, but has a fake ADT sign outside, to discourage criminals.

"We do shop a lot and you probably shouldn't tell people that because they'll come here and do package theft.

Saying anyone could be a target. 

Baltimore Police say being aware of this growing crime and being proactive will help you get your packages, and get your presents to your loved ones in time for the holidays.