COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Springs Police Department Crime Prevention officers said they are getting more than 50 surveillance videos a day from neighborhood watch groups of suspects stealing packages. They are asking Coloradans to try to limit these opportunities because they are expecting the numbers to skyrocket this holiday season.
“People work hard for this money to buy gifts for their kids or their family and these people that want to steal these packages are just… ugh!” a frustrated Suzi Huntz said, who has lived in her Colorado Springs neighborhood since 2006.
She said complaints about stolen packages have only increased over the years.
”I see neighbors all the time posting, hey I’m supposed to have a package. Did somebody get it?” Huntz said. “It makes me crazy.”
Packages are stolen at all times of the year, but Huntz is on edge about all the opportunities on the horizon for criminals— with so many more people shopping online.
“So many people work. So many people are in the military and can’t get out if they have packages,” Huntz said. “So, I think they really need to look into different avenues when they are. Especially, to let their neighbor know so they can pick it up.”
Jonathan Liebert at the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado is concerned about these crimes too.
”It could be a package. It could be money in a letter. All these things are just ripe for somebody to take advantage of, to steal it and rip you off,” Liebert said.
Safeguarding your holiday package starts with how you pay for it, Liebert recommended.
”Buying something with a credit card is important because if there is some type of theft then you have a better chance of getting some of your money, or all of your money back. It’s not guaranteed,” Liebert warned.
Where you send the package can make a difference too.
”Amazon has these lockers. So you can send it to a locker where you have a code and you can go and check that package out,” Liebert said. ”Perhaps taking the time to pick it up at the local postal office or Maybe you ordered something, have it come to that store.”
Tracking that package can help, but be aware of scam text messages.
”If you don’t remember something and it’s telling you that you have a package coming don’t click that link,” Liebert said.
Ultimately, if it’s a high-priced package you can pay for insurance or to require a signature.
”Spending a little bit of extra money on the front end might help you a lot on the back end. If something happens to the package, if it’s stolen, and if it’s damaged,” Liebert said. “So just be aware that while it is easy and it is convenient, people are counting on that. They are counting on it being easy for you so they can take advantage somewhere on the trip, or at the end when it’s being delivered.”
We do know, unfortunately, some of those packages are going to be stolen this year. So what do you do next?
- Verify the theft: make sure the package wasn’t delayed, misplaced, or picked up by a neighbor or family member.
- Notify all parties involved: notify the seller and the shipper. Delivery companies often have claim instructions on their websites.
- Contact your credit card company: See if they can help stop payments.
- Notify law enforcement: Share any details and surveillance video. It documents your loss and can help investigators track crime trends.