Police provide tips for preventing package thefts ahead of Black Friday, Cyber Monday

SALT LAKE CITY -- Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up, which means millions of packages and presents are just a click away.

Some of those purchases may be stolen off your porch if you are not careful.

"Porch pirates are out and about this time of year, and we’re out to either stop those pirates or prevent the theft from actually happening," said Lt. Brian Lohrke with Unified Police Department.

Lohrke offered a few tips for consumers, like illuminating your porch and setting up cameras.

"A lot of cameras are really good visuals," he said. "We actually catch a lot of thieves using the surveillance video."

That helps catch someone who stole your package. So how do you prevent it from happening at all?

Police suggest having your package delivered to a third-party person, maybe a family member who is usually home during the day. They also recommend communicating with neighbors who can pick up packages for you as they arrive.

UPS states the majority of their 750 million packages shipped during the holiday season are successfully delivered.

If you are still concerned, UPS suggests you have your package shipped where you are. If you are at work during shipping hours, for example, have your package shipped there.

You can also tell the delivery driver where you would like your package left at your house, like in the shed or behind the garage.

UPS also offers Access Point Locations, which are places where you can pick up your package, like the nearby grocery store or UPS store.

FedEx offers the same thing; they say they will hold your package for free at a FedEx office location for up to five business days.

Meanwhile, local police are keeping an eye out for thieves.

“We do have operations in which we have bait boxes out there in which we catch our criminals," Lohrke said. "Now, I’m not gonna tell you when or where that’s gonna happen ‘cause that takes the fun out of our hands, but at the same time do know that this is high on our priority list this time of year."

If you become a victim of package theft, report it to your local police department right away. Also contact the shipment company to report the theft.