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Holiday Packages Swiped From Seattle Porches

Liz Jones
12/21/2010

Christmas isn't about all the stuff — but you do want make sure the gifts you package and send off actually get to the right person. Some Seattle residents say packages have recently gone missing off their porches. KUOW's Liz Jones reports.

TRANSCRIPT

It seems Christmas came early this year for some unintended recipients. Several people around Seattle have posted on local blogs and community lists about missing or stolen packages. On the blog "My Ballard" a few people commiserate that someone apparently took a package from their porch and left a box of trash in its place.

Mark Jamieson is a detective with the Seattle Police Department. He says he hasn't seen a spike in recent thefts of this type. But he says it's a likely scenario this time of year.

Jamieson: "Any property crime is typically a crime of opportunity. So the longer a package sits unattended on a porch, the more likelihood that someone is going to walk by and want to take it."

Wednesday is the busiest day of the year for deliveries through the mail and other shippers, like UPS Inc. The UPS Inc. estimates it will deliver nearly 278 packages every second tomorrow.

So what do you do if your package goes missing? Detective Jamieson says report it.

Jamieson: "Usually when things are stolen, if there's any insurance involved, the first thing they are going to ask is 'did you report it to the police department?'"

And also report it to the shipper, which in some cases may be an online retailer like Amazon. It then depends on the retailer's policy about missing items.

A UPS Inc. spokeswoman says you, or the shipper, should file a claim. Then the company will determine whether a reimbursement is warranted.

To avoid thefts, it's a good idea to track shipments online. You can also leave a note for delivery drivers to put the package in a less visible location, like the side or back of the house.

I'm Liz Jones, KUOW News.

© Copyright 2010, KUOW

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