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Simple tips to prevent package theft

A viral video showing a suspected package thief slipping and apparently injuring her leg in Bothell is re-igniting concerns about porch pirates.

A video showing a woman running up to a Bothell house, stealing packages from the doorstep, then slipping and falling, injuring herself, highlights an ongoing problem in many neighborhoods, where package thieves can easily grab deliveries.

Here are some tips on how to prevent that from happening.

Think about alternative delivery locations. Some people can ship packages to their employer. You could also use a delivery locker. Shipping companies and Amazon are expanding their networks of lockers in Washington. The locked boxes, which are often located at grocery stores and gas stations, keep orders safe until you can come pick it up.

If you must send something to your house, schedule the delivery for when you know you'll be home. The main shipping companies allow you to do that. Also, when ordering, require a signature at the time of delivery.

If you're out of town and using the U.S. Postal Service, ask the post office to hold packages at its facility until you get back in town.

If none of this works and you still lose your package to thieves, report them. USPS has a law enforcement arm called the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and you can report stolen mail or packages directly to them on their website. Also, report the theft to local police, who may already have a suspect in mind.

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