Preventing holiday package theft

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) According to UPS, about 750 million packages were delivered this time last year-- that's up 12 percent from 2015. Package deliveries aren't the only thing on the rise-- and it could mean trouble this holiday season-- a national study says nearly half of the people who order online report having at least one package stolen.

Despite the national rise in package thefts, that doesn’t seem to be the case in Vermont. Law enforcement from about 20 cities and towns across the state say numbers have been steady, and in some cases have slightly decreased.

Burlington Deputy Police Chief Shawn Burke says awareness of package theft may have prompted people to invest in surveillance cameras and other preventative efforts like lockboxes.

"I think we have seen a lot of creative things through technology," said Burke.

For those who don’t want to invest in the new technology, there are cheaper alternatives.

"Usually I just have stuff sent to my work," said Katherine Taylor-McBroon of Burlington.

"Probably one of the easiest things you can do is talk to your neighbors. Especially if you’re going to be gone for the holidays," said Burke. "You should definitely have your mail put on hold and have someone checking over your house."

"I get messages from neighbors saying something is coming, please can an eye open," said Pat Donehowe of Burlington.