Chicago consumers take extra precautions to prevent package thefts this holiday shopping season

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With the holiday shopping season nearly in full swing, Chicago residents are being cautioned to watch out for package thieves.

Vernice Bogan said she's already had a pair of shoes she bought online taken from her front door. The Chicagoan said she's learned her lesson and now she gets her packages delivered to a secure pickup location, such as an Amazon store downtown.

"Ever since then I was like, you know what, this is secure. It's easy access and I get my stuff within two days," Bogan said.

With the continued popularity of doorstep deliveries, officials with the U.S. Postal Service said front porches have become the scene of retail crime.

"With the computers, everybody's ordering online, so the package delivery has really skyrocketed," said Julie Kenney, who works for USPS' inspection service in Chicago.

According to a recent study by Shorr Packaging Corp., an estimated 23 million Americans have had a package stolen from their front porch or mailbox.

Chicago police have offered some tips for consumers to protect their package deliveries.

Police suggest signing up for delivery alerts and requiring a signature for all deliveries. CPS also recommends asking a trusted neighbor to hold your delivered package, shipping packages to your work office or taking advantage of in-store pickup.

Post offices along with package shippers offer many of those options.

"We will hold your packages for up to 5 days for free," said Dennis Shirokov, vice president of retail and consumer marketing for FedEx.

Chicago resident Jerome Campbell Jr. said he's been the victim of porch pirates too many times.

"Holiday shopping is big, whether it's for my wife or anybody in the family," Campbell said. "It's very big and you want that safe."
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