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Thieves Caught Stealing Christmas Gifts From Stoneham Home

STONEHAM (CBS) - 'Tis the season for online shopping. And with it police say, comes thieves who steal packages right from people's doorsteps.

In Stoneham, police say, three women followed a delivery truck. When it delivered packages to the front door of an Elm Street home, the women stole them.

The packages were toys intended to be Christmas gifts for Tracy, the homeowner's, kids.

"There's lots of packages coming this time of year, probably one every couple days," she told WBZ.

But Tracy and her kids never got the toys. Fortunately, an alert driver saw the whole thing. He tailed the alleged thieves and got their license plate number. Police later tracked them down to a house in Woburn.

Investigators found the empty boxes that had contained Tracy's goods. According to police the women told them they got rid of the toys. Detective Robert McKinnon suspects they hit other houses too.

"They (police) found another package at another location, an empty envelope from that listed a nearby address, so they had probably done more homes," he explained.

As more people do their holiday shopping online, more of those packages are getting taken by thieves, McKinnon says.

Last year surveillance video in New York caught a man stealing packages off a porch.

Also last holiday season, police in Somerville busted two people for taking packaged delivered to other people's homes.

"We have several things people can do to protect themselves," says Eric Macom with a Boston branch of FedEx.

He recommends that when buying online, people choose a shipping option that requires a signature. If they can't be home, have a neighbor grab the packages.

Plus, FedEx and other delivery companies now offer an option to have your purchases shipped to your nearest retail or shipping facility.

"We'll hold it here for you, it ships directly to us, we'll keep it nice and safe and protected for you."

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