Package thefts on the rise during the holiday season

The boom in online shopping has made package theft an epidemic in our region. Crooks follow delivery trucks-- they often know in advance when new tech products like iPhones are going to be delivered.

The homemade signs on the front door of Amanda Zbikowski's Holmesburg home warn would-be package thieves that their crime will be caught on tape. The signs went up after she says a porch pirate ripped off a package containing a child's snowsuit delivered to her front step back on November 30. It had barely been there 20 minutes when the thief, dressed ninja-style in black, swiped it.

Now, comes the pushback. Dwight Fowler-Davis is co-owner of a new UPS Store at 3rd and Girard. Business is booming.

UPS and other carriers offer services that allow packages to be sent to secure locations until they can be picked up by the customer. At this store, residents rent mailboxes so packages--even letters--can be sent here for safe keeping until they can stop by. Mailbox rentals are up 60% since the store's 2017 opening.

"Primarily because of all the theft in this area. There is a lot of theft in this area and if it can't be stolen it's going to be stolen," Fowler-Davis explained.

Zbikowski says she will continue to buy online but says the kitchen set she ordered for her toddler will now go to her aunt's house where someone can answer the door.