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Top 5 Ways To Prevent Your Packages From Being Stolen

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - More people than ever will do their holiday shopping this year online, which many police departments say will mean more thieves than ever will be out casing front porches looking for delivered packages.

Having a security camera at your front door may help in catching a thief, but even in plain sight a security camera alone may not be enough of a deterrent to keep your packages safe.

Here are our top five ways to keep your holiday packages from being stolen:

1. Use an Amazon Locker - Instead of having Amazon deliver your packages to your home, you can have them delivered to an Amazon Locker. There are dozens of them around North Texas. Most are located outside Quik Trips and 7-Elevens.
The way it works is you'll receive an e-mail from Amazon with a pick-up code. You'll then enter your pick-up code at an Amazon Locker kiosk and one of lockers will open with your package inside. You package will be kept in a locker for up to three days.

2. Reroute or reschedule a delivery with an app - For $5 using the Fedex Delivery Manager or UPS' My Choice  app, you can reroute a package to a new address or reschedule it and have it delivered to your home on another day. For a $40 a year membership, UPS offers unlimited use of its rerouting and rescheduling service.

3. Try Package Guard - This Frisbee-shaped device with the words "Place Package Here" written on top is designed to be put near your front door. When a package is delivered and placed on the Package Guard, you'll be notified with a text message or email. If a thief tries to take your package, a hundred-decibel alarm goes off and you'll receive another alert on your phone. Using your phone, you can deactivate the alarm when you return home to retrieve your delivery. The Package Guard can be ordered for $69.

4. Put a vacation hold on your mail - If you are headed out of town for the holidays, the US Post Office will hold your packages and mail for anywhere between three and 30 days. Then when you're back in town, you can either pick-up your mail at your local post office or have it delivered to your home. This service is free of charge.

5. Use a lockbox - There are several different types and sizes of lockboxes. Landport offers a simple yet high-tech version that can be bolted down to your front porch. With a five-digit code the box electronically unlocks. That code can be given to your delivery company and can be changed at any time. The price for these boxes start at $500 and go up to $800 for larger ones.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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