TODAY   |  November 29, 2012

Thieves steal holiday packages from front porches

Online shopping has made buying holiday gifts easier, but not everyone is receiving their packages. Law enforcement around the country is reporting an uptick in the number of reports of missing packages, stolen by thieves from recipients’ front doors. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> let us begin with another warning tied to holidays. thieves caught on camera stealing packages delivered to homes all across the country. nbc in houston, texas. good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning to you. online shopping has made it easy. you point, you click, and couple days later it's waiting at the front door when you get home from work, except when it isn't. police officers across the country are seeing an uptick in the number of packages that are being stolen after they've already been delivered to the front porch like these. and sometimes the whole thing, the delivery and theft are captured on a home security camera. the videos are all over the internet. delivery people dropping off packages and then moments later someone walks up and takes the box right off the front doorstep. sometimes the thieves are caught on home surveillance cameras.

>> i ordered this package online and then it never showed up after about a week and a half, the package just never showed up.

>> reporter: kim had more than $400 worth of clothing stolen that she ordered online. it was delivered, but then it disappeared. all of it captured on a security camera mounted by her front door.

>> i mean, the guy really has guts to get out of his car on my street, come on to my property, and take something that belongs to me in broad daylight.

>> she filed a police report then posted the video online , but so far no suspects.

>> it was as though he was christmas shopping at my house.

>> across the country during the holidays, some 1 billion packages will be delivered. the u.s. postal service had more than 2,000 reported mail thefts last year. as for fedex, it says it has an outstanding reliability record and it's up to law enforcement to investigate thefts. u.p.s. says package theft is extremely rare, so low the company says it doesn't keep statistics. but videos posted online seem to show it still happens. suspected thieves taking everything from adult clothing to a how could they item? a child's bicycle. right off someone's doorstep.

>> 'tis the season. we know that, you know, people are ordering packages and they're receiving packages. if they're not going to be home and during the time when they are expecting a parcel that maybe they should reach out to a trusted friend or a neighbor and ask him, would you pick up my parcel for me?

>> to avoid theft, many delivery companies offer signature or delivery confirmation services for an additional fee. for kim, it's a lesson learned.

>> this was worth about $400. and i just didn't really think about having this delivered to the office. so i just didn't think somebody would steal a package with clothes in it.

>> reporter: yeah, police say thieves are generally looking for electronics and not women's clothes. now, some alternatives, some companies do offer text alerts when your package is delivered, if you have a neighbor who is home, maybe they'll take delivery for you. and if your employer allows it, you could potentially have your packages delivered to work depending on how much you trust your co-workers. it may be less risky to send it home. matt, back to you.

>> janet, sad sign of the times . thank you very much.