How to protect your packages from being stolen during busiest week of holiday season

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's the busiest week of the holiday season for packages to be delivered at your doorstep.

The ABC 7 I-Team and Consumer Investigator Jason Knowles are finding new ways to protect your deliveries form thieves.

"One of the biggest issues you have here is you are at the middle of an intersection and people can see the packages at the door step from every angle," said security expert Jordan Ferrantelli as he showed the I-Team simple solutions to stop porch pirates in their tracks.

First, he said, give detailed instructions to your delivery service about where to leave packages.

"This box you can ask them to leave behind the bush over here and then you won't have line of sight from the street," he explained. "You can ask your deliver driver to leave the packages behind the fence, or backyard, or out of the view of the street so that way a criminal can't take packages."

You can also put a sign on your door.

"Whether or not you have a camera, thieves are always going to be cognizant of a sign that says 'recording in process,' 'smile you're on candid camera,' something along those lines," said Ferrantelli. "They are also going to look for stakes in the ground that indicate you have an alarm system."

And there is new technology where delivery drivers can put packages right in your own garage.

"Amazon has an integration with several different partners and what they can do is the delivery driver gets to your house and they will see if you are home first by ringing the doorbell," Ferrantelli said. "If you're not they basically let Amazon central station know you are not home, somebody else besides the delivery driver that works at Amazon remotely unlocks your door, it has a camera to make sure they don't enter your house."

Amazon and other stores also now sell benches and plant holders which hide packages. In addition, you could buy special locks for items like that, which can be accessed by delivery drivers.

There are also apps to aggregate deliveries to one safe space.

"There's an app called Door Man and others similar to it where your packages get delivered to a third party service," explained Ferrantelli. "Then what you can do is coordinate with them when you want your packages delivered when you are going to be home."

Walgreens is offering safe delivery options. You can have FedEx packages sent to your nearest Walgreens. Plus, through a partnership with more than 600 retailers, like Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom's, stores can now ship directly to your neighborhood Walgreens.

"They can feel comfortable secure and safe by having a location for their delivery packages," said Walgreens' store manager Abe Herrera. "About 78 percent of Americans live within 5 miles of a Walgreens, so that's super convenient for customers."

You can also have items shipped directly to UPS stores, FedEx stores and Amazon pick-up stations, or your place of work, with your employer's permission.

You should also try to get real time text alerts on all deliveries so you know when things are being dropped off.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.