SARASOTA, Fla.- With Christmas just a week out, people are busy shipping those last minute gifts to friends and family. But a major concern this holiday season is that packages could sit on doorsteps for hours and possibly be stolen.
In a surveillance video, you can see a man approaches a home, picks up boxes sitting on the doorstep, and quickly walks away.
Then, in another home surveillance video, you see the U.S. Postal Service drop off a package and leave. A few minutes later, a car drives by the home, backs up, pulls in the driveway, and a woman gets out of her car to take the package and drive away.
With all the online shopping and gift sending this holiday season, folks are clearly concerned about having their packages left for hours on their front doorsteps.
“It makes me uncomfortable, and that's why I’m sending it; so that he has to sign for it,” says Patricia Thompson Lee.
Lee is sending a gift to a friend in San Francisco and does not want to risk having the package stolen.
We asked a local UPS store if simply leaving a package is protocol for delivery.
“That's the primary way they're left usually. You can add a signature required, where they will put the signature from the recipient, so it's not left all day on your front porch,” says Russell Crawford, owner of a UPS store franchise in Sarasota.
UPS Says a signature requirement costs around $4.00 in addition to regular shipping. UPS will leave an info. notice if you are not home, but after trying to deliver 3 times, they will return it back to the sender.
A frequent UPS customer says, she utilizes the tracking process UPS offers and has never had a problem.
“They give you a tracking number, and then if you have it signed for, then you get an email that it has been signed for where you have proof that someone did sign for it; in case somebody said there package didn't come, you have the proof behind it,” says Merrill Bonder.
There are some important tips to keep in mind when sending or receiving a package. First, purchase a signature requirement, track your packages online, have the package sent to a friend that will be home or your workplace, or purchase insurance for valuable packages.