Thieves swipe packages from porches

Friday, July 25th 2008, 12:03 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, News 9

Thieves are targeting Nichols Hills homeowners who say packages have been swiped from their porches.

Cathy Russell searched online for a slip cover to change the look of a chair in her home. She ordered it and expected UPS to deliver it.

"For a purchase that's less than 100 I thought it's fine, just leave it on the porch," Russell said.

When she never saw the product show up, she started to wonder if it was possibly lost in the mail.

"According to the merchant and according to the delivery service, the package was left on my porch and I did not receive it," Russell said.

The package did arrive, but someone stole the slip cover from Russell's porch.

"I was very confused because I didn't receive it," Russell said. "I started making phone calls and realized that in all likelihood something had probably been taken from my porch."

Over the past few months, Nichols Hills police said the neighborhood has seen an increase in porch thefts.

"If they're left on the front porch or in visible site from the street, they're disappearing.

Someone's coming up and taking them," Det. Steven Cox said.

Police said either someone's following the delivery trucks or is just driving around looking for packages left outside.

"It's a gamble on what they're getting," Cox said. "It could be a pair of socks, or they could be getting valuable electronics."

Many shipping carriers said the best bet for customers is to have packages delivered to work or require a signature.

"These are very determined criminals and if they want to take something, they will," Russell said.

Police asked all homeowners to be aware of their neighborhood and encouraged residents to call police if they spot someone stealing a package.

Police said the thieves are likely using the stolen items or they're selling them for profit.

Shipping and Package guidelines and liability

UPS terms and conditions for shipping (PDF)

FedEx terms and conditions for shipping (PDF)

USPS guide to mailing (PDF)

USPS guide to extra security services (PDF)