Video: Beware of brazen package thieves this holiday season

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Mail couriers are sending out a warning for people who shop online: Your holiday deliveries could end up in the hands of thieves. One homeowner got video of just how brazen these criminals can be.

"It's alarming that we are seeing this locally here," said Carolee Streeper, UPS area human resources manager for Utah and Southern Colorado.

A homeowner in Murray, who declined an interview and asked not to be identified, got video of a man stealing two packages from his doorstep. The video shows a man with a ponytail casually walk up to the door, take the packages and walk away the afternoon of Nov. 28. Those packages contained kids' winter clothes.

Security cameras also caught the thieves' blue car driving past the house, possibly casing it out. Investigators say, they're following up on leads in the case. On Nov. 30, the same thing happened to Alli Province of Salt Lake City.

"I was quite shocked and violated and I guess sad that people would do that in the holiday season," said Alli Province, in a past interview with KSL.


UPS had just delivered her kids' Christmas gifts. Before the family realized the packages were there, a woman snatched them from the front porch.

"It's an opportunistic crime. Sometimes, they're looking for an opportunity to make some bucks and to steal," said U.S. Postal Inspector Steve Danson.

He says package thefts are rare, but the number of cases go up this time of year. Danson says that while it may be inconvenient, people can request a signature upon delivery and pick up their packages at the post office, or even have it delivered to a neighbor or workplace.

"There's also email tracking. You can track your packages so you know when they are coming," Danson said.

UPS also offers similar options. People can ask for a signature or take advantage of a new feature called "My Choice".

"That gives those customers control over delivery location of their packages, approximate times of those deliveries and where they want their packages delivered," Streeper said.

She says that if a signature isn't required for delivery, drivers are trained to leave packages in the most discreet spot.

"We ask them to leave the packages at the customer's location, out of sight, out of weather and not in plain view of the street," Streeper said.

The Postal Inspector says they work with local police to solve package and mail thefts. Stealing mail from the U.S. Postal Service is a federal crime, punishable to up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. To report a stolen package or mail, you should call the courier directly and file a police report.

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