The New Castle County Police would like to warn residents about the risk of having packages delivered to an empty home.

The New Castle County Police would like to warn residents about the risk of having packages delivered to an empty home.

The holiday season is right around the corner and many residents are shopping online to beat the crowds at the shopping malls. Unfortunately, “Package Pirates” are on the look-out for an easy grab.

Last year, the New Castle County Police received a total of 98 complaints regarding the theft of packages. Nearly half of the reports were received in the months of November and December. Recently, there have been reports of suspicious vehicles following delivery trucks. We have a few tips to keep “Package Pirates” and Grinches from taking your packages.

-Opt to require a signature for all package deliveries. Residents should review the delivery options at “check-out” for there is an option to leave specific delivery instructions for the delivery company on where to leave packages.

-Consider sending the package to a family member or trusted neighbor who is home during the day to accept the delivery.

-Packages can also be sent to your place of employment, but we strongly recommend you check their policies.

-Use the “pick-up at store” option for merchandise or pick-up packages at a local UPS or FedEx location.

-Sign-up for e-mail or text message alerts from UPS or FedEx. These alerts will notify customers of when packages were delivered.

-Report any suspected theft immediately. Residents are reminded to track their purchases; it makes it easier to realize the package has not reached you.

If you are a victim of a theft, please call the New Castle County Police by dialing the non-emergency telephone number (302) 573-2800.