‘They see it. They take it’: Winnipegger finds solution to doorstep package thefts

Thieves are making away with some important parcels just in time for the holidays.

Winnipegger Erin Whittaker shops online and likes having items shipped to save money.

A few months ago she noticed a book never made it to her River Heights porch, then some mattress covers worth $60.

“Those ones I knew. This was definitely stolen. There was a giant box that just didn’t arrive,” said Whittaker Saturday.

To combat the culprits, Whittaker wrote a sign and posted it on her front door asking deliveries be put in the garage for safe keeping.

She said there was a hiccup, though, when a package was left beside the sign, going against her instructions.

“They see it. They take it,” said Whittaker.

She didn’t report her missing mattress covers to police but said she contacted Amazon and got a refund.

“They are pretty good quality, but not something that’s going to have a big resale value and I’m guessing people are looking for electronics, which I would never get shipped to my door,” she said.

Whittaker said her sign appears to be working now.

CTV NEWS CHECKS IN WITH COMPANIES

CTV News reached out to Canada Post, UPS and Amazon about doorstep thefts. As one solution, all three companies recommended concerned customers direct packages be picked up at a post office or ‘Access Point’ location.

Amazon said there isn’t an issue with the vast majority of packages, and it works with a variety of carriers with practices for ensuring safety.

It said if a parcel shows as ‘delivered’ the retailer asks people look to for a notice from the shipping company, look around the area it was supposed to be dropped and wait. In rare cases, packages may say ‘delivered’ up to 36 hours before it arrives.

UPS said the number of packages stolen is very small. It has a free online tool that alerts people when parcels are on the way.

It said if a customer prefers to get a package at home, and it doesn’t require a signature, it can be left in a safe place at the drivers discretion.

UPS said drivers are trained to leave deliveries out of sight.

Canada Post said customers should always look at the different shipping options by the seller, and may want to choose to sign for a parcel.

“When delivering a parcel we follow the instructions we receive from the sender. In some cases, for less valuable items, the sender requests the item be safe-dropped at the door so the receiver doesn’t have to go to the post office if they aren’t home,” said Canada Post in an email to CTV News.

Customers can also sign up for email notifications, when it’s ready for delivery.

LOST AND STOLEN PACKAGES

Winnipeg police encourage people to report thefts.

“It might involve our community supports units starting to target that area,” said Const. Jay Murray.

Canada post said if a customer feels their parcel is lost or stolen, they can contact customer service at 1-800-267-1177 so it can possibly work with the sender.

It said the customer should also contact the sender to begin a claim for a refund or to have it re-sent.

UPS said customers should contact the shipper or vendor to submit a lost package claim, which prompts an investigation and includes a review with the driver and centre management team.

UPS said it doesn’t recommend leaving a note on the door to avoid confusion.

You can find more information here:UPS LOST PACKAGE CLAIM PROCESS