Reports of stolen packages prompt tips from police

There are ways to lower the risk of someone stealing your delivered packages

By Tommy Lopez - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - As more people start buying presents for the holidays, police expect there to be more cases of stolen packages.

There have been recent cases of packages stolen by thieves after they were placed by someone’s door. The thefts were in Old Southwest, in Grandin Court on Cambridge and Oxford avenues.

Police and the Postal Service have tips to lower your risk of falling victim:

Submit delivery instructions for a safe place
Track packages online
Get a notification for arrival
Ask for a written signature on delivery
Get insurance
Get a camera security system
Ship directly to a store or workplace

Police say they usually see an increase in these crimes in November and December.

"One of the victims in this case, it was a Christmas present," Roanoke Police Department Crime Prevention Specialist Scott Leamon said. "When it’s sitting right there at the front door, we like to tell people to maybe try to write in the comments for the driver to maybe go around back. Put it in a bucket.”

Police are recommending an app called Nextdoor to people in the Roanoke area. It allows neighbors to report suspicious behavior to each other.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends people call this number if they believe someone has stolen a package from them: 877-876-2455.

Surveys show more than 20 million Americans have had packages stolen from their residences.

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