As packages arrive, local porch pirates are on the prowl

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, and shoppers should start seeing packages arrive on their doorsteps over the next several days.

The last thing you want is a box labeled “flat screen TV” waiting on your doorstep for a thief. (Photo courtesy of local resident)

That’s why Wednesday is designated as National Package Protection Day.

But authorities say there are ways to thwart potential thieves.

First, pay attention if the online retailer says an item will be sent in the original packaging.

The last thing you want is a box labeled “flat screen TV” waiting on your doorstep for a thief.

If you are expecting an item, most sites offer tracking.

Sign up for those text message or email alerts, so you know when your delivery is on its way.

You can also sign up for Informed Delivery from the U.S. Postal Service.

You'll get previews of letter sized mail like Christmas cards which may have money or gift cards inside, and you can leave instructions for the mail carrier if you want them to put an item on your back porch or drop it in your backyard.

Killeen police have additional tips for online shoppers.

"If you're going to be home after five, see if that package can be delivered after hours,” Killeen Police Department spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez said.

“Get with a neighbor or friend or family member to be there if you're not going to be available. Coordinate with someone to be there when the package is delivered. If not, see if you can require a signature for the package."

Also, check to see if the retailer has store pickup available.

If you can, get your packages sent to where you work if they are getting delivered during business hours.

You can also go online and redirect Fedex packages where you can arrange for pickup at one of their offices or any Walgreens locations.