'The thievery upsets me': Package thefts rising as the holiday season kicks off

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Saturday, December 3, 2022
Package thefts rising as the holiday season kicks off
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Residents see rise in package theft as the holiday season begins.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Janette Sroka has a brand-new baby toy she's hoping to reunite with the person who ordered it. It's one of two items she found discarded on a sidewalk while out walking her dog one morning.

Sroka says the items were on the ground and over a fence, bundles of Amazon boxes were tossed into a creek.

It was as if someone had gone through the packages, plucked out what they liked and left behind what they didn't.

"The thievery upset me and the fact that people are being ripped off, that bothers me," said Sroka.

She eventually went down to the water and grabbed what she could.

"The lady that lives here, I knew she wouldn't be able to go down and haul the items off her property," said Sroka.

Some packages weren't even meant to be delivered in the North Hills subdivision.

Researchers say every day in the U.S., 1 in 7 packages are stolen or lost.

A survey from C+R Research shows in 2022, 14 percent of Americans have fallen victim to porch pirates, some more than once, and the average value of stolen packages is a little more than $112.

The report finds 48 percent of people do not think delivery companies are doing enough to prevent package theft.

The same survey says more than a quarter are especially worried about items being snatched over the holiday season and 37 percent know someone who's had a package taken during the season of giving.

Alex Henson experienced this problem first-hand two years ago.

"They had taken a picture of my package, and then I go out maybe 20 or 30 minutes later and it was gone," said Henson.

With deliveries starting to arrive well into night, he's helping out neighbors when he can.

"If I see a package out there and not her car, I'll just go put it in the garage for her," said Henson.

Sroka is also trying to look out for others. She saw addresses on a couple packages and sent out letters. One to where this baby toy was intended and another for emptied out box.

"There was a gift message, and I felt badly that she would have never known that there was a gift coming, so I sent her a note," she said, also explaining that she'll donate the items if she doesn't hear back.

Safewise.com suggests sending your package to a delivery company's pick-up stations or shipping it to a family member or friend who works from home.