Sources from the US Postal Inspection Service in Cincinnati say mail theft is a federal offense, and if prosecuted, carries a five-year jail sentence for the criminal. Although it’s impossible to delay the delivery of items ordered, there are a few ways to prevent them from being stolen. “The best way to make sure your package is safe is to promptly remove mail from your mailbox or porch shortly after it arrives,” said Kathryn Woliung, Postal Inspector, Cincinnati. “Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other’s mailboxes and residences.” Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky residents have another option: have items sent to your work address, as long as you have permission from your employer. Your packages are then delivered to a secure location with little chance of them being stolen. Some homeowners have taken steps to prevent daytime robberies - like package or mail theft - by installing webcams or smart security systems with cameras pointed directly at their driveway or front door. This allows the resident to monitor who is approaching their home. If they’re a victim of theft, the video recording can be used as proof when filing a police report. Then again, if you don’t have a nearby relative or a trustworthy neighbor, consider renting a Post Office box or utilizing a brick and mortar pick-up site like the UPS Store. Before using these services, make sure to read and understand the rental agreement. Online ordering has made it simple to shop quickly both during the holidays and the rest of the year, but having your items delivered requires a little extra caution. When placing your order, think about where it should be delivered and whether or not it's a safe spot. Additional tips for timely delivery and package safety is available from the US Postal Service at usps.com. If you see any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, report it to your local authorities. Read more here about holiday shipping tips.