How to protect your packages this holiday shopping season

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BOSTON -- Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become a holiday tradition but according to researchers, the delivery of packages has become quote a problem.

With 30 percent of all Americans reporting that they have, at some point, had a package stolen, Boston 25 News reporter Heather Hegedus talked to police about how to best protect your shipments.

In Cambridge, the majority of package thefts have been reported near Central and Harvard squares, a part of town undercover officers plan to spend the next month leaving decoy packages with GPS trackers.

“If that GPS device is in a package that you steal, you may turn around and see a police officer,” Deputy Cambridge Police Superintendent Jack Albert said.

The Post Office is also on alert. Package thieves have even been known to follow mail trucks, so letter carrier Dave Hernandez leaves them in vestibules where they're not out in the open. Sometimes people leave instructions about hiding places.

“This year for the holiday season, package volume is up about 11 percent from where it was last year,” he said.

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At the Post Office's Fort Point processing facility hundreds of thousands of packages will be processed for distribution around Boston this season. To protect your package, the post office says it's as simple as taking one extra step.

“You can go onto usps.com and when they ship something to you they send you a bar code number - an ID number - you can punch in that ID number and you can specify delivery instructions: please re-route this to my office, here's the address, please leave it with my next door neighbor, please hold it and I'll pick it up,” Steve Doherty from USPS said.

If you're mailing a package, the Post Office also recommends requiring a signature or getting insurance.

The Post Office says just like you'd never leave money out on your front steps, you should never leave packages visible.

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