Snohomish County Sheriff's Office

Message from the Sheriff

Protecting your packages from theft

package_theftIt's the holiday season, which means shoppers are take advantaging of the convenience of mail order shopping and package delivery.  And so are thieves.

Every year, we receive hundreds of reports of package theft from county residents. It takes only seconds for a thief to steal packages from your porch, mailbox, or doorstep. Here's a few tips to protect your deliveries:

  • Hide packages. Give delivery services a specific spot to leave your packages (e.g."behind the big planter" or "tucked behind the grill near the back door"). 
  • Schedule the delivery. Pick a delivery time when you know someone will be home.  Some services even have the option to receive an alert when a package has been delivered.
  • Request a signature.  When shipping something of high value or just to be sure items aren't left unattended, request a signature for packages to be released. For example, the USPS offers USPS Signature Services that require a signature at the time of delivery.
  • Going out of town? Place a vacation hold. Before leaving town, plan ahead to have packages held. FedEx allows vacation holds on shipments for up to 14 days and the USPS offers Hold for Pickup, where customers can collect packages at their local post office or redirect incoming packages to a different post office through USPS Package Intercept.
  • Request a ring.  If possible, instruct delivery drivers to always ring your doorbell or knock on your door when leaving packages. FedEx Delivery Manager, for example, allows customers to leave those instructions.   

I hope these tips help you have you a safe and theft-free holiday shopping season.

-Sheriff Ty Trenary

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