As the holiday season approaches and the numbers of gifts purchased online rises, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is advising residents to take steps to avoid the theft of your delivered items.

“In recent days we have received several reports of packages that were delivered to homes and later stolen from front porches. Unfortunately, this type of crime rises during the holiday season,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. “We are asking residents take a few steps to combat this type of theft and we are asking you to immediately report any suspicious activity in your community,” Sheriff Chapman added.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office asks residents to consider taking these steps to help protect their delivered items:

– If possible, make arrangements to pick-up packages at a package store or postal service facility.

– If the items must be delivered, ask that packages be left on a back porch or set beside the front porch. This prevents the packages from being visible from the roadway.

– Request a specific delivery time.

– Ask a trusted neighbor to watch for the delivery and have them take it into their house until you get home.

– Use free package tracking options when you place an order. This will help you know when the package was delivered and make arrangements to have it picked up or brought inside immediately. It will also help you confirm that the package that was delivered is now missing.

– Use of an exterior video monitoring service to deter thieves.

– If you are expecting a package and it does not arrive as scheduled, follow-up with the carrier immediately.

Residents are asked to call the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 703-777-1021 to report any suspicious activity.