Action 9: Thieves targeting packages left on shoppers' porches

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Many shoppers buy gifts online and those gifts then are then dropped off on their porch. But thieves are snatching boxes right off people's doorsteps.

Action 9 noticed case after case in police reports and found out how online shoppers can try to keep it from happening to them.

Melissa Roy shops online a lot.

"Just because you don't have to deal with parking and the crowds," she said.

She bought dog toys from Amazon, tracked them, and thought they'd be on her porch. But they weren't. So she checked her surveillance cameras, which caught something shocking.

"I saw them clear as day," Roy said.

What she saw was two thieves taking her packages.

"I was frustrated, but then at the same time you kind of feel violated because somebody walked up on your porch," she said.

She filed a police report -- and Action 9 found others -- all just a few days apart from all over Charlotte.
And according to the Better Business Bureau, victims can't blame the retailer or shipper.

"Once it's on your property, it's your property. It's no longer the retailer's responsibility. It's no longer the shipper's responsibility. They did their job -- they got it to you," said Tom Bartholomy with the BBB.

So Action 9 wanted to know what people in the shipping business do when they order things for themselves. UPS security manager Tim Tate said he has items delivered to the UPS store, relies on neighbors or relatives who are home while he's working, or sees if the shipper can drop the packages somewhere besides his front door.

UPS calls this service "My Choice."

"My Choice gives the customer an option to tell us where they want the package left," said Tate.

Roy is now thinking of doing that or having packages delivered to her work -- or even getting a P.O. box for the holiday season.

"We're willing to try anything," she said.

No matter how you handle it, make sure you track you packages, so you know when they should arrive.