Increased package deliveries means earlier delivery times and more thefts
REDDING, Calif. - More people are having packages delivered than ever before, and with that comes more package thefts than ever before.
The U.S. Postal Service in Redding has seen a 40 percent increase in package deliveries this holiday season compared to that of last year. They had to hire six new employees to manage the extra work.
"Our record last years was almost 10,000 packages on this day one year ago," said Redding Postmaster James Biskner. "We already hit 10,000 like right after thanksgiving."
Because of the increase in deliveries, the workers need to get started earlier in the morning. Biskner said they get in at 4 a.m. and the first packages are being delivered by 5 a.m. That's two and a half hours before the sun rises.
Some residents are worried that this early delivery could leave their packages sitting in the dark for hours while they sleep.
KRCR News Channel 7's Mike Krueger watched from a different city through a camera app on his phone as a porch pirate stole his 8-year-old son's main Christmas gift from their front porch.
While Krueger's theft took place in the middle of the day, he also has video of deliveries happening in the dark. The USPS delivery approached his porch with a flashlight around 5 a.m.
People often use the tracking number to track their packages, but that doesn't keep it safe sitting on the front step.
"I do tracking on everything and that's kind of standard and I kind of like that, said Redding resident Christine Lagenback. "Although it just means it's going to the front porch. It doesn't mean it's going in to the kitchen or in to the living room."
So, the USPS took tracking a step further. You can now sign up for a service that texts or emails you when your package is getting close. If you aren't home, you can request for the package to not be delivered until a different day. The post office will keep your package for free for up to 30 days. This is a service you have to sign up for. To sign up click here.
FedEx and UPS also have similar services.
Biskner said the men and women making the deliveries try their best to make sure everyone gets what they need at the time they need it.
"Be patient," Biskner said. "We'll get it to you. It might have to be from 4 in the morning until hopefully 6 o'clock at night but we're definitely going to get it to you."