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Federal agency helps investigate package theft during holidays

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SALT LAKE CITY — Millions of packages will hit doorsteps and porches this week and next following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but in many cases, package theft will interrupt the delivery.

With Salt Lake City being the second-most-likely place to have a package stolen during the Holidays in the U.S., what can you do if someone snags something off your stoop?

You find that steal of a deal on the perfect gift for that person on your shopping list, track the package’s progress across the country, receive a delivery notification, come home from work, and it’s not there. Your heart sinks into your stomach.

Porch Pirates strike again.

That’s where the U.S. Postal Inspection Service steps in — the federal law enforcement and security arm of U.S.P.S. The agency takes over and begins investigating after an initial police report is filed following a package theft.

It’s a small agency with only about 1,400 employees nationwide and just seven of those based in Utah. With such a small force, U.S.P.I.S. typically teams up with local law enforcement. For example, it teamed up with Woods Cross police in 2017 to create the Santa Squad. The program allowed people to ship their packages to the Woods Cross police station for pickup. It was a huge success but was discontinued this year due to liability concerns.

The agency recommends you follow basic prevention methods: have your package held at a USPS, UPS or FedEx hub; have your package delivered to work; don’t leave delivered packages unattended for long periods of time.

If you have something swiped, you can get in touch with U.S.P.I.S. through its website.