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Friday, April 18 2014 3:34 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:34:46 GMT
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WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - It is the season of giving but some people are choosing to take -- right from your doorstep. Surveillance video has captured a number of thieves around the nation walking right up to houses and swiping newly-delivered packages right off of the stoop.
"It could happen on my doorstep. It could happen anywhere," said Travis Douglas, a West Palm Beach resident.
Douglas was among the 131 million people expected to shop for holiday gifts online on Cyber Monday. "I know UPS usually takes bags and puts them on my fence," he said. "There's always the possibility of people seeing the bags there and seeing a free opportunity right there."
The Better Business Bureau warns criminals are actually trailing delivery trucks into neighborhoods. Thieves watch for the drop-off then move in to take someone's delivery.
"If you're watching a truck pass by, and you see a box sitting right there, what's stopping you from taking it?" asked Douglas.
Maryann O'Donnell of West Palm Beach said she already takes steps to avoid becoming a victim of this kind of crime.
"I have it all shipped to my office because of the fear that it will get swiped when I come home or before I even get home," she said.
With so many deliveries now on the way to their destinations, some neighbors are not only watching each other's doorsteps, they are on the look out for the gift-swiping criminals that may also be arriving this holiday season. "If you're in a bad situation or if you need things that badly, then you'll work hard for it, too," said O'Donnell of potential thieves.
UPS and FedEx both offer customers the option to customize the time and date of their delivery. The Better Business Bureau recommends customers require a signature for a delivery and to track the shipment online very closely.
The BBB also recommends people let a trusted neighbor know a package is expected, so it will not be left unattended for long.