Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department are warning online shoppers to come up with a plan before they become a victim of package thefts.
Shopping online has become more popular throughout the year instead of just holiday seasons, but police say that means more opportunities for crooks.
"That is an increased opportunity for people that choose to steal the packages. Rather doing it seasonally, they can do it year round and that's why we have to be that much more careful," Sgt. Steve Linn told NewsChannel 5.
Alena Moran who lives on Boscobel Street in East Nashville has learned about stolen gifts the hard way. She ordered $40 worth of decorative items from Amazon before her Thanksgiving trip to D.C.
"I had someone that evening come by an picked the package up around 9:30 pm and that's when she discovered that it was opened," said Moran.
The culprit rummaged through the box and stole the items. Unfortunately, she does not have surveillance cameras and did not capture how the thief looked like.
However, since the incident, she has ordered a surveillance system.
"People are getting a little bit more brazen to come on to your property. We'd like to put an extra measure to keep an eye out," added Moran.
This week, police arrested 25-year-old Javari Shaw for a string of package thefts in October.
Sgt. Steve Linn said that online shoppers need to be prepared.
Some of the tips included:
- Have you or someone greet the delivery person
- Have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up the package
- If possible, have it delivered to your office
- Make arrangements with the carrier or retail to hold the package
An estimated 11 million homeowners have had a package stolen in the last year, according to a Shorr Package Theft Report .
About 41 percent say they have avoided some purchase online for fear of package theft.