You send a gift, expecting your friend or loved one to receive it, but
what if it never reaches them? Instead, a thief gets their hands on it. Postal inspectors call those theives "joggers" and they can be seen in any neighborhood. The U.S. Postal Service is looking out for you.
Postal customer Carolyn Kendrick said, "I'm sending a Christmas gift to a childhood friend." She's one of 97 million people in the U.S. visiting the post office this holiday season.
It's frustrating to think about. "You would hope they wouldn't do it anytime, but I'm sure there's a lot more of a problem with that now," Kendrick added.
Tony Robinson is a federal postal inspector. He says those thieves who take packages from someone's door step have the nickname "joggers."
Robinson said, "(They're) basically people traveling behind postal service vehicles."
They wait for a package to be delivered. After its left on the front porch, they take it.
Robinson said, "We are in harder economic times, people are resorting to acts of desperation. I wouldn't say it's a big problem. What I would say is that one letter or gift card meant for you, if it's stolen then it's a big problem for you."
Robinson says 16 1/2 billion pieces of mail will be sent from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve and every sender and receiver are potential victims.
It has people thinking about what they can do to protect their packages.
Another customer, Rhett Sypher said, "It is a concern. I didn't know that was going on, definitely something I'm going to have to think about. I've got tons of packages to send out."
And when it comes to protecting yourself, here's what you can do. Require a signature for your package, that way it's not just left on your porch if no one is home to receive it.
Also, you can have the package delivered to a P.O. Box.
Finally, when you use express mail, you can have the package delivered to the post office. They'll hold it up to 3 days for someone to pick it up.
Copyright 2011 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive