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Protecting your package from porch pirates

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SALT LAKE CITY — This week is the time when porch thefts skyrocket, analysts say. Postal service officials say there are options for customers who don’t want to have a delivered package just left outside.

Salt Lake City ranks No. 2 nationally for porch thefts in metro areas, according to SafeWise, a home security company.

Lockable mailboxes may seem intuitive, but experts say they can be ineffective for protecting against package thieves.

Postal Inspector Jared Bingham says that a crook with a crowbar can rip that locked box open.

“Don’t rely on that as a way to secure your mail, especially overnight,” Bingham says.

Bingham explains that a safe option is to choose to pick up your packages at a post office.

“When you specify how you want it shipped, when you tell it to go Postal Service, you can designate that they hold it for pickup so they don’t even bring it to your house. They know you are going to come in and pick it up at the post office. And you can do that online through USPS.com,” Bingham says.

UPS has a program called My Choice for additional pick-up options.

UPS Communications Manager Dawn Wotapka says this program allows customers to select from among 28,000 businesses who are vetted by UPS to safely hold onto their packages.

“A lot of them are neighborhood delis, pharmacies, places like that [where] you can go in and pick up your package,” Wotapka says.

Wotapka added, “You know your package is safe and you can go get it at a time that works for you. You know a lot of these [places] have extended hours so you can pick it up after work [or] on the weekend.”

Even though National Package Protection Day was Wednesday, postal service officials say people should take precautions to protect their deliveries every day of the year.