Police warn residents about package thieves
Pennsylvania State Police are warning folks ahead of time that as the holidays approach, it’s Grinch season.
Police sent out a bulletin last week warning residents about package thieves and reminding everyone that the Christmas season is a peak time for criminals.
“The United States Postal Service estimates that it will deliver 630 million packages between Black Friday and New Year’s Day. The problem is when packages are delivered, it is usually when no one is home, leaving the proverbial window wide open for criminals,” police said. “Thieves will often follow UPS and FedEx trucks to homes, wait a few minutes, and then approach the house to steal the package.”
An estimated 23 million Americans have packages stolen from their homes, and that number is expected to increase given the popularity of online shopping.
According to police, stealing mail from the U.S. Postal Service is a federal crime and carries a potential five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. However, if packages are stolen after they are delivered from a private carrier such as UPS or FedEx, it is considered property theft.
Postal inspectors make nearly 10,000 arrests each year, many for mail theft.
For tips on how to avoid package thefts see state police’s recommendations, below.