Preventing holiday package theft

(WEAU) With only days left until Christmas, the U.S Postal Service is seeing a hike in the number of packages its shipping that means more of us are at risk of getting that Christmas package stolen.

The Eau Claire Police Department says no package thefts have been reported so far. But we have to be careful, because experts say it’s all too easy for someone to come by and take them.

Whether you're shipping a package overnight, priority mail or choosing to do standard shipping this holiday season, you may be at risk.

The Post Master in Altoona says she's seen countless boxes since last Monday.

“I had so many packages, I didn't know for sure if I was going to be able to get them all there and be able to shut the doors for the HCR driver to pick them up,” said Wendy Knutson, Altoona Postmaster.

If you plan to ship something, tracking your package is a good place to start.

"The best thing to do is get insurance on the package or get a signature confirmation on the package and that means when we bring it to the door someone has to sign for it,” said Kim Leith, Eau Claire Postmaster.

"You can send them certified and certified is customer on the other end has to sign for it, cost you 2.75 cents extra,” said Knutson.

But Wendy says people often don't want to pay extra, so what else can you do?

"If you're going to be gone try to notify a neighbor to pick out your mail otherwise it kind of makes you a high target,” said Leith.

Meanwhile, some packages sat outside for who knows how long and someone could have easily taken them.
The Post Office says a lot of people are choosing to send them to their work.

"Check with your employer if they will allow personal packages come in there, so it's a secure location, the other thing we suggest is get a P.O. box if you’re expecting a lot of stuff,” said Leith.

For those of us, in certain apartments, if the post office can't delivery your mail here in your mailbox or even in a nearby postal box what they'll do is send it back and therefore it doesn't get stolen.

Kim and Wendy say they’re unsure why people choose to take the packages.

It could be the size or the business that it’s from. No matter what it is, if it gets stolen be sure to file an insurance claim.

Holiday shipping dates

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