DETROIT (WWJ) – The Grinch is alive and well this holiday season and his sights are set on one thing: the deliveries coming to your doorstep.

Police across the area are receiving increased reports about UPS, FedEx and USPS packages being stolen from mailboxes and porches.

According to police, thieves will often target their victims by following behind UPS, FedEx and USPS trucks (known as “tailgating”) and watch for deliveries where packages are left in open areas. Once the delivery person has left the package, the thieves will go onto the property and steal these packages.

With the holiday season upon us many of us are receiving numerous packages. To reduce the chance your packages will be stolen, police say you should follow the below safety tips:

— Always retrieve packages (and mail) as soon as it arrives.

If you are not going to be home to receive the package:

— Send the package to the residence of a trusted friend or relative who you know will be home. Be sure that the friend is ready and waiting to retrieve the package when the doorbell rings and be on the lookout in case the doorbell doesn’t ring.

— Ask the package delivery company to hold the package if you will not be home (many have local delivery centers).

— Request that your package is marked “signature required.” This requires the delivery person to stand by and wait until you’re available to retrieve the package.

— Leave special instructions with the delivery company on where to deliver the package. A good place is on the side or back of the house, so that the package is out of sight from the road.

— Use a company that provides a tracking service and check online to see when it is scheduled to arrive.

— Have the items shipped to the nearest store for “in-store pick up.”

— Have the package delivered to your place of business.

— Many residents now have security cameras installed in and around your house. Use the cameras if you have them.

Residents are also asked to be on the alert for suspicious vehicles and people in their neighborhoods. If you see a crime in progress, call 911.

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