HOUSTON -

Houston area law enforcement officials say this is the time of year when homeowners should remain on alert for criminals targeting delivery packages left on their front porch.

At least two thefts were reported this week in a southwest Houston neighborhood.

"It's expected this time during the holidays, but it's still disappointing when it happens to you," said Cindy Ruiz Mansfield.

She said she ordered something for her home and was expecting the delivery earlier this week.

She called the delivery company to check on the status of her order.

"It said it was delivered to my house on Tuesday at noon. By three it was gone off the porch," she said.

This is the time of year when criminals are either following delivery trucks or driving through neighborhoods looking for packages left unattended, according to a crime prevention specialist with the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable's Office.

Investigators offer the following advice to protect your valuables over the holiday season.

  • You should tell the delivery company to not leave boxes unless you or someone else is home to sign for them
  • Have the packages dropped off at UPS, Fed-Ex or another delivery service where you can pick them up at your convenience.
  • Have the packages shipped to your office, or a neighbor's or relative’s home, who will be available when the delivery is made.