Potter and Randall County Sheriffs Join Fight Against Porch Hacking

While Christmas is known as the season of gifts, with the proliferation of online shopping, it is also a season of opportunity for parcel thieves.

Expanding their mission of serving and protecting the community, the Randall and Potter County Sheriff’s Departments allow residents to ship packages to their facilities for secure delivery and custody.

Every day, 1.7 million packages are stolen in the United States, according to research by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. One in three people in this country have reported at least one stolen package, resulting in the loss of $ 25 million in goods and services every day.

Sgt. Wallace Jones of the Potter County Sheriff’s Department said his department is doing its part to help its citizens receive their holiday gifts without worrying that they will be stolen.

“What we want to do with this service is tackle porch hacking which is even more prevalent at this time of year, so people can receive their packages as expected,” Jones said.

All packages delivered to the sheriff’s office will be stored in a secure room until their owner can claim them. For those who wish to collect packages outside of normal business hours, arrangements can be made by calling either department.

The U.S. Postal Service has seven tips for tackling parcel theft.

• Do not leave delivered packages unattended. If possible, do not leave delivered packages unattended for long periods of time.

• Take advantage of online tracking services offered by retailers; if the company says it has been delivered but it is not at the delivery address, report it.

• Remember to watch the front door. If you have a home security camera system, make sure it captures activity at your front door and mailbox. If you catch mail thieves in the act, record the video and alert your local postal inspectors. CCTV goes a long way in preventing crime and catching bad guys.

• Customize delivery. If you know the package is going to be larger than the mailbox, allow the courier to leave it in a specified location out of sight. You can also request a pickup from their facility.

• Secure the shipment. Signature confirmations ensure the package ends up in safe hands. Record your most valuable packages so that special care and documentation is used every step of the way. Get your packages where you are, not where you are.

• Talk to employers. See if they will accept packages delivered to the workplace instead of the home address.

• Watch for suspicious activity. Some thieves follow delivery trucks, waiting for the right time to steal packages. If you notice anything wrong in your neighborhood, report it to the proper authorities with specific details.

If you’re an Amazon customer, the company offers a service called Amazon Locker, which delivers packages to secure locations across town that can be picked up at your convenience.

Using family members and neighbors who are available to be home to receive packages is also a great way to reduce the risk of package theft.

To take advantage of the Randall County Sheriff’s Office service in receiving your packages, have all shipments addressed to 9100 S. Georgia St., Amarillo, TX, 79118 with your name on the package. The office will be open to pick up packages from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

To pick up packages outside of this time, call (806) 468-5800 and let them know you have a package to pick up in the locked mail room.

The procedures for using this service with the Potter County Sheriff’s Office are to ship incoming packages to 13103 NE 29th, Amarillo, TX, 79111 with your name on the package.

Hours of operation for Potter County SO are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you can’t pick up your package until after 4 p.m. or on weekends, call (806) 379-2900 and notify dispatchers of your presence so they can let you in to pick up your package.

About Yvonne Lozier

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