This Holiday Season, Outsmart Porch Pirates with These 6 Tips 

  • November 29th, 2021

Packages on a door stoop.As millions of packages travel to front porches, doorsteps and apartment lobbies, some of those gifts may find their way to your home.  

Here are a few tips to help ensure thieves don’t spoil your holiday by stealing your packages. 

Track your package. Most shipping companies offer tracking services to let you know when your package is supposed to arrive. They will also send you an alert when the package has been delivered. If you get a notice that your package was delivered, but it’s not there, you should contact the retailer or shipping company immediately. 

Get help from your neighbors. If you know a package will be delivered while you are away, ask a trusted neighbor to watch for the delivery and grab the package for safekeeping until you get home. 

Give direction on where to leave your package. Some delivery services such as UPSFedEx and the U.S. Postal Service will allow you to give special instructions on where to leave your packages, such as the back door, carport or at the front desk of some apartment complexes. Amazon even has a new service that enables delivery drivers to leave your packages in your garage. 

Have packages delivered elsewhere. Rather than having packages delivered to your door, consider having them sent to another location. FedEx will deliver packages for free to a local Walgreens, while deliveries from Amazon can be shipped to an Amazon Hub Locker near you. You can also have items purchased from many retailers sent to a local store instead of your home. Faculty and staff should not have packages delivered to their offices. 

Install a doorbell or security camera. While a camera may not stop a thief, it may deter them. And, if your package is stolen, the video can be used by law enforcement to catch the criminal. 

Keep gifts out of sight while shopping. If you choose to do your holiday shopping at a brick-and-mortar retailer, remember to lock your packages in the trunk of your vehicle. Never leave packages or valuables in seats where they can be seen. 

Expecting packages through the Campus Mail Center?

Packages that are received by the Campus Mail Center for students through Dec. 17 will be processed normally. Items that are left in the mailroom longer than 14 days will be returned to the sender. Students who need items held longer than 14 days should email the Campus Mail Center to request an extension or coordinate the forwarding of their items. Any items delivered to the mailroom after Dec. 17 will be processed for student retrieval after the winter break. 

When is the next test of the UA Alert System? 

Weather permitting, the University will test its emergency notification systems, including  UA Alertsthe public address system and digital signage Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 11:55 a.m. 

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.