Holiday Packages Tempt Thieves

Daniel Brendoff sorts boxes before loading them onto trucks for shipping at Amazon.com's fulfillment Center in Fernley, Nevada. (Ken James/Bloomberg News)

Minneapolis, MN-  Online shopping is now a regular part of Americans’ lives during the holidays.  Fortune Magazine reports digital shopping will hit $96 billion this year.  But shoppers beware:  all those packages being delivered to front door steps during the holiday season provide a welcome target for thieves.


KMSP Fox 9 reports  police arrested three men for burglary in New Brighton, Minnesota. According to Fox 9:  Investigators say three men arrested for burglary in New Brighton, Minnesota, have also been stealing packages off doorsteps in northeast Minneapolis.

Mohamed Adan, Abshir Ali and Yusef Ali were arrested last week after an attempted burglary in New Brighton.

Police attributed their success in apprehending the thieves to photos posted on a community Facebook page that led them to the suspects:

There was some great information out there on Northeast Minneapolis Crime Facebook page with not just pictures of the suspect vehicle, but the suspect as well, ” said New Brighton Director of Public Safety Tony Paetznick. (KMSP)

Posts on the “East Side Crime Watchers” Facebook page show that Minneapolis isn’t the only area in the Twin Cities experiencing holiday gifts and packages theft.

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Other posts on the East Side Crime Watchers Facebook page include a plea for help in finding package thieves in November.

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NBC News has published “7 Ways to Avoid Package Theft During the Holidays” with the following tips:

  1. Ask for a tracking number to know when your package is delivered. Track your packages and try to be home at the time of delivery, the Alexandria Police Department suggests. When you’re placing an order, try to schedule shipment for a day you expect to be home, if possible.
  1. Not sure if you’ll be available for your tracked package’s delivery? FedEx and United States Postal Service (USPS) suggest scheduling your delivery beforehand to set a time you know you’ll be home.
  1. FedEx also suggests requesting a signature for delivery. This will ensure the package won’t be left at your door without you there to sign and bring it safely inside.
  1. Want your package placed at the back door or behind a porch plant instead? Leave a note specifying what less conspicuous spot you would like it left. The FedEx Delivery Manager lets you leave delivery instructions on where you want your deliveries to be dropped off.
  1. Have your packages delivered somewhere else. If you know you won’t be home when your package will be delivered, FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) tell you to opt for delivering it to a neighbor who is home or to your workplace, if allowed.
  1. Another option is to deliver your packages to a retail store or locker, where they’ll stay safe until you can pick them up at your convenience. Many retailers will let you place online orders and then pick up your items in the store. You can also look into the Amazon Locker service, which delivers Amazon orders to a “locker” in your area; you’re provided a pickup code that will unlock the door for you. And the U.S. Postal Service suggests taking advantage of their Request Hold Mail service, which securely holds letters and packages at your local post office until you’re back in town. FedEx and UPS also have similar location delivery services.

7. UPS suggests signing up for a service called “UPS My Choice,” which allows users to request their packages to be held at a UPS store for pick-up and more. You can control the service through text or email; it includes features such as delivery notices and the option to re-route your packages to a different address if you won’t be home. You can also re-route your packages using the FedEx Delivery Manager.