DES MOINES, Iowa – Experts have weighed in on the best ways to help prevent package thefts this holiday season.
According to Des Moines Police, there have been nine reported package thefts since Thanksgiving this year.
UPS estimates over 800 million packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
According to Central Plains UPS Human Resource Manager Michael Arndt, they see up to 100,000 packages a day sent out for delivery in Des Moines.
“Our drivers are trained to put packages out of sight out of weather. We want to make sure that customers get their packages. We know there are Christmas packages and it is as important to us as it is to them. We want to make sure they want to get them,” Arndt said.
Arndt said over 3,000 people are working at the Des Moines UPS to make sure packages get delivered on time. However, they are still looking for additional seasonal help.
“We’ve got about 130 packaged cars is what we call them, delivery vehicles, a day dispatched out of this building,” Arndt said.
West Des Moines Police said in 2017 it saw 11 reported package thefts from Thanksgiving to Christmas. In 2018, so far only one has been reported.
Arndt suggests people should track packages to see what time it will arrive. If someone is not available to be home during the day, keep a porch light on.
“Just be aware that it is coming. We have a lot of packages out there. Our residential stops certainly increase this time of year.”
People can purchase home security items like doorbell cameras and motion sensors.
Best Buy Home Theater Supervisor Jordan Carl said, "We offer an in-home advisor and it is essentially a blue shirt that is going to come out to your house, and we are going to walk your premises and see where do we need coverage at.”
West Des Moines Police Sergeant Dan Wade said cameras can be helpful when catching a thief.
“Security cameras and variants on home security systems have their benefit. Usually the benefit is realized after the theft has been committed though. So, we strongly encourage people to do what they can to prevent the theft from occurring in the first place,” Wade said.
Wade said to see if the shipper allows a required signature at delivery. You can make that an option so if no one is home the delivery service will take it back to its facility.
If someone falls victim to a package theft, it is important to contact local authority and file a report. In addition, contact the shipper and delivery service to see if you can get reimbursed or have a new package sent.