'Doorstep thieves' face holiday delivery check

FedEx, UPS provide customers anti-theft options


ORLANDO, Fla. – The convenience of door-to-door shipping has become the go to option this holiday season.

[WEB EXTRA: Holiday tips]

Procrastination combined with a shortened window of shopping days has delivered special online deals well beyond Cyber Monday.

For instance, Amazon has been offering a string of one-day deals. On Monday, the online giant unveiled a 20 percent discount on Kindle tablets, along with discounts on televisions, movies and electric shavers. Best Buy, Jos. A Bank , Hollister and Bed Bath and Beyond are all offering on line specials too.

That's the good news. Now the bad news: Doorstop thieves. Police said they are seeing an increase in package thefts delivered by companies like FedEx and UPS.

The package is delivered while you are away and a thief will spot the package, walk up and walk away with your gifts.

Ken Hauser, of FedEx Express' Orlando office, says the company understands that "theft is a reality during the holiday season."

Hauser told ClickOrlando.com that FedEx rolled out an option this year called Delivery Manager. It allows customers to decide when and where that package will be dropped off.

"They can set up customized alerts so they know when a FedEx package is coming to them," Hauser says.

UPS rolled out a similar plan in October of 2011. UPS "My Choice" allows registered members to receive "a free text or email message the day before the package arrives eliminating the need to continually track packages."

UPS also has an option that allows customers to go online and release packages requiring a signature. Both services are free.

Seminole County Sheriff's Lt. Jason Bender says managing your package delivery is the key to stopping the thieves because it is all about opportunity.

Bender, a key player in the sheriff's crime prevention unit, says deputies have been going door-to-door in area neighborhoods to talk about protecting resident's homes and packages during the holiday season.

Without fail, deputies will spot packages sitting out for the taking.

For more information go to UPS, FedEx or the Seminole County Sheriff's Office website.