Spike in stolen delivered packages this holiday season

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Police in Yakima told KIMA they've seen a spike in the number of stolen delivered packages this holiday season.

It's a busy time of year for mail delivery. People are still trying to send out those last minute Christmas cards and presents for under the tree. But, just because a package was sent doesn't mean the other party will receive it.

"It is concerning, you know, how we're going to get our gifts to family members that don't live here with the risk of them not even arriving," said Breanna Carlson.

Breanna Carlson never received a care package sent by her grandmother. When she went looking for answers, the mail provider told her the package was delivered.

Yakima police have found an increase in stolen delivered packages that have been dropped off on the front steps of empty homes.

"I've spoken with the shipper, who turned in a claim," said Thomas Prather. "FedEx called me Saturday for the first time just to find out if I checked the bushes and spoke with the neighbors."

Thomas Prather has been waiting almost a month for a special delivery which has also gone missing.

Police say there's a chance that suspects can be tailing delivery vans and targeting packages dropped at residences when no one is home. Their advice is to contact your local mail provider and request that packages be held for pick up rather than home delivery.

"I defiantly would think twice about sending packages out and try to figure out other arrangements knowing this situation," said Carlson.

Hesitant to ship gifts, Carlson doesn't mind spending a few extra bucks on priority shipping trusting her gift will arrive.

Yakima police told us they typically see an increase of stolen delivered packages during the holiday season.