Postal Service tracking features could help keep packages safe from thieves

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Tis the season to give and receive packages and letters sent to and from friends and family. With Christmas nearly upon us, a huge increase of online shopping and delivery also means an increase in packages and letter thefts.

The United States Postal Service, (USPS) has upgraded their tracking technology and can track your package from when it was first shipped to the minute it hits your doorstep

With a portable GPS-enabled tracking device, city mail carriers like Donald Gale delivering in the outskirts of Upper Arlington, are the tail-end of the tracking chain.

“We scan every single package at your door so you will know the exact time it was scanned at your house,” Gale said.

USPS offers an online service called “Informed Delivery” which allows clients to sign up and view grayscale pictures of the address side of letters, along with tracking information and scheduling where packages should be placed at your residence. Gale said packages can be tracked by using the vendor number on the package.

Other options include: Requesting the package be held at the Post Office, by choosing the Hold for Pickup option.

Redirecting packages when someone is not at home to receive it, by choosing the USPS Package Intercept option for an additional fee.

“So they can tell you exact time, location, front porch by the garage. There are several different codes we need to type in saying where we left it, did we put it in the mailbox, front porch,” said Gale.

By signing up you can also get text messages or email alerts which tell you a package is on its way and when it has arrived.

Keep in mind there is a huge increase in the numbers of packages during the holidays.

“On an average day we’ll do anywhere from 80 to 100 packages, during Christmas we are doing between 200 to 250 for some people,” Gale said.

The postal service advises you to use this online service to alert you or a neighbor to pick up packages on your porch before thieves have a chance to steal them.

You can find the USPS Informed Delivery at http://informeddelivery.com

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