HOUSTON - Porch thieves are bold, brazen and they are everywhere this holiday season, stealing packages right off the porches of homeowners even as security cameras record video of their crimes.
If you are worried about your packages getting stolen, you have several alternative delivery options that can keep your gifts safe.
In the Willowbend subdivision, a Ring doorbell camera caught video of a woman running right up to a front door and running away with a box from Crate & Barrel.
In Mission Bend, a camera catches a man making a quick get away with a flat screen TV that was delivered seconds earlier by FedEx.
Neither of these packages would have been stolen had the owners had them delivered to a FedEx eligible hold location. You don't even have to pay for the service. When we checked hold locations near us, we saw a Walgreens, an Office Depot and several office parks. You have 5 days to pick up your package once it's delivered.
In April, we told you about Local Postal, the app and website that lets you have your packages delivered to participating businesses near you. You get a notification when your package is delivered, and you have 14 days to pick it up. You pay per package for the service. Through the end of the year, it's only $1.99 for each regular size package (regularly $2.99).
If you mostly shop Amazon online, it will now deliver packages right inside your home or car. It's called Amazon Key.
For home delivery, you have to buy a smart lock kit that comes with a camera. You'll get a notification before the delivery person enters your home so you can watch the delivery on camera in real time.
If you're an Amazon Prime member with a 2015 or later model Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac or Volvo, Amazon will deliver your packages right to your car for free.
You have to download the Amazon Key app. You'll get a notification of your four-hour delivery window. An Amazon employee unlocks your vehicle remotely when the delivery driver lets them know he's at your car. They put your package in, relock your car and send you a message so you know you're good to go.
Right now you can get a $10 Amazon gift card for your first in-car delivery.
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