Holiday thieves target porches with packages

Residents wonder if late packages have actually been stolen

Published On: Dec 18 2013 09:55:10 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 19 2013 07:17:48 AM CST
UPS
TOWN OF ALBION, Wis. -

The holiday season is a time for joy and giving, but there’s a Grinch in one Wisconsin town stealing gifts.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office said it has had two reports of thieves targeting packages left on porches this week in the town of Albion, where some residents worry they’ll be next.

“It’s a shame that people do that,” Arin Smithback said. “It’s ridiculous that people take from one another.”

Smithback wonders if his family has also fallen victim.

“My mom is waiting on a package and it hasn’t come yet and she’s apparently been tracking it, but she doesn’t know where it is,” Smithback said.

The Christmas present is already five days late, but when something like this happens, it might never show up. And consumers are held accountable. The UPS store in Middleton recognizes the brazen trend.

“We’ve heard stories of people, this time of year especially, trailing UPS trucks, Fed-Ex trucks, U.S. Postal trucks in neighborhoods,” UPS Spokesman Keith Johnston said.

In fact, this week, a New York City homeowner caught that same crime on his security camera. To avoid it, Johnston recommends wrapping gifts in a generic box, consider having a trustworthy neighbor keep an eye out for the package or having to sign for a delivery can ensure it gets to the appropriate person.

“It’s worth it for a couple of bucks to make sure and have the peace-of-mind it’s delivered safely,” said Johnston.

UPS carriers are required to ring the doorbell, but not necessarily put the package in a safe place.

“I asked for an electric drum kit,” Smithback said. “If that’s what she (my mom) ordered and it’s on its way and it got stolen, then that would not be very good.”

Christmas is a week away, but Smithback added another wish to his list. He hopes the Grinch goes away soon and doesn’t steal anything else on the way out.

“It’s irritating people do that and it’s good for them, but you ruin it for everyone else,” said Smithback.

Johnston also recommends filing a police report if you fall victim to this crime.