DETROIT (WXYZ) - Thefts happen all the time, but when it’s not happening to you it’s easy to dismiss. When the holidays come around, many of us become targets, whether we realize it or not, thanks to online shopping and the packages that come with it.
Experts say Amazon sold more than 750 items per second during this year’s Cyber Monday sale, that means boxes are being piled on porches. It also means it’s the best time of the year for thieves to stop and grab items with hopes of finding big ticket items.
Security experts say the best defense is a good offense — in this case, that means not having the packages delivered to your home. If you have the option of shipping the package directly to your work they’re more likely to end up where they belong. Most businesses have a protocol for packages, and at least they’re with co-workers rather than on a doorstep.
If that’s not an option there are other simple strategies that can help you:
REROUTE YOUR SHIPMENT
It’s worth a phone call to UPS, USPS or whoever is delivering your package to see if they can hold it at their nearest office by your home, or your work. It ensures that you can pick up the package yourself — sure, it’s not as easy as having it arrive at your home, but it cuts down the option of a thief eyeing a box that could have this year’s Christmas presents inside.
If you’re ordering through Amazon it’s worth looking into a nearby Amazon locker — they’ll only hold the package for three days, but instead of being delivered to your home the item will be placed inside a locker where you can securely pick it up. According to a quick search on Amazon, there are a number of Amazon lockers in the metro Detroit area.
UP YOUR SECURITY GAME
Thieves are bold, but with today’s latest technology they may be a little less bold around visible cameras.
Ron Ross, the owner of Vigilante Security in Troy, noted that there are all sorts of new tech with low price points that can be a big help.
One of the newest items on the market is the Ring. In fact, when 7 Action News approached his office’s door he answered and could immediately show us video of our video crew arriving on scene.
The Ring is tied to a cellphone app that sends a push-alert when someone approaches the device. You can pull up a live feed and actually talk with someone through the WiFi enabled device.
“What are you doing on my porch?” said Ross, explaining how you could interact with anyone approaching the porch. “Please put that package down, or kindly put the package int eh corner so it’s hidden away if you’re talking to the delivery service.”
Ross noted that it could also clue you in to the fact that a package has arrived, allowing you to call a neighbor.
You can get even more high-tech if you want to invest, which of course would up the security of your home too — Ross showed off a few customized security systems he’s installed, and noted that one of his employees had a package stolen, but since the video was so clear the police were able to return the package and arrest the thief in a short period of time!
WIFI CONNECTED DEVICES
One of the newer items on the market is called Package Guard — it runs $89 currently online, but gives you a lot of piece of mind.
The item looks like a giant frisbee with directions for the delivery service to place any packages on the Package Guard which arms the device, if anyone tries to remove a package without the user disarming it through their cellphone it emits a loud noise.
GO ON “VACATION”
You can place a hold on your package if you’re going on a holiday — many companies like USPS and FedEx offer the service for free for a period of time — UPS charges for rescheduled package deliveries, but at $5 an item it may cost less than insuring a package if you’re afraid it could be stolen.