'Tis the Season for Stealing - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

'Tis the Season for Stealing

Thieves steal Christmas gifts by targeting home deliveries



    'Tis the season for stealing packages from front porches. As deliveries ramp up before the holidays, police say they receive more reports of thefts outside homes. (Published Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012)

    Police departments everywhere say crimes such as burglary rise during the holidays.

    Home and car burglaries tend to increase as thieves look to profit from newly purchased gifts.

    Burglars also target home deliveries. UPS, FedEx even the U.S. Postal Service all get more complaints of theft after leaving gifts at unattended homes.

    Thieves know to follow delivery trucks and wait, which is what happened at Alicia Vaughn's Oak Cliff home.

    A woman walked to her porch and stole a box of gifts seconds after UPS delivered the package.

    "Video footage showed them driving in front of the house back and forth two times, and as soon as the UPS guy drove off, they came back again drove up and backed into the driveway," Vaughn said.

    The theft happened despite Vaughn's sign in her porch window that warns thieves they are under video surveillance.

    "I've uploaded the videos on YouTube, onto Facebook," she said. "I notified the news station, and I want these people to know I see you and I know what you've done and you're not going to get away with it."

    UPS trains delivery personnel to conceal packages left at home, especially at this time of year.

    "Unfortunately theft at this time of year happens every year," UPS spokeswoman Natalie Godwin said. "We always receive these complaints at Christmas."

    The volume of deliveries creates opportunity. Thursday is the busiest day of the year for UPS, which will make 28 million deliveries on Thursday alone -- 300 packages per second.

    "They have no idea what they have, and it may not mean anything to them," Vaughn said. "They just want to pawn it or make some money, you know. It's meaningless it's an easy crime."

    UPS has a program to ensure delivery when customers want it, either by time or adult signature,

    Vaughn said she would look into it next time, even though she has been getting gift deliveries the same way for 14 years.