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Sheriff's Office Warns Of Holiday Gift Theft


The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to watch out for thieves this holiday season - especially those who are nabbing packages being delivered to homes.

In the past week, they've received two reports of packages taken from doorsteps. In Polk County, a woman was caught on video taking boxes from a neighbor's home and was arrested for burglary.

Dan Heskett owns a UPS packing and shipping store in Tampa. He said there are easy ways that people ordering the packages can prevent theft. 

"During this time of the year you should request you have to sign for the package because a lot of thieves follow the truck drivers around, especially in apartment complexes and take the packages from within the door," he said.

Hillsborough Sheriff's Detective Larry McKinnon asked shoppers to watch out for themselves and their neighbors. 

"You know, you just have to be careful when you have those packages delivered that you protect them just like anything else so you're not disappointed come Christmas time," he said.

McKinnon says one way to avoid becoming a victim is to insure your packages and leave instructions for the deliverer to hide them. 

WUSF News intern Ariana Matos is a senior studying mass communications at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Before joining WUSF, Matos worked at the USF’s student newspaper, The Oracle, as a correspondent and as editor of the Lifestyle section.
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