It’s the most wonderful time of the year — and one of the most stressful if you’re one of the many holiday shoppers ordering gifts online.
Just as the Grinch stole Christmas, more than 1.7 million packages across the country are stolen or go missing each and every day, The New York Times reported — a figure that adds up to more than $25 million in lost goods or services.
In New York City alone, a reported 90,000 packages vanish every day, an increase of about 20 percent from four years ago, the Times reported. In Denver, there’s been a 68 percent increase in reported cases of package theft, while as of mid-November, Washington D.C. saw 1,846 cases.
Even so, major online retailers such as Amazon have developed improved methods aimed at keeping packages safe, including the Amazon Ring, a home-security device in which users get alerts when motion is detected by their front door.
Select models even allow users to see, hear and speak to visitors from a phone, tablet or PC.
Amazon also offers a real-time tracking service for packages that allows customers to make arrangements so they can be home when their goods are delivered — or at least have someone fetch them if they’re out.
RELATED VIDEO: Ohio Mom-of-2 Who Robbed Porches in Broad Daylight Speaks Out
The company has gotten even craftier, too, with an app called Key that allows users to have packages delivered to the trunk of their car for safekeeping.
They’ve also embraced secure delivery sites, like the locker system in which customers can send their package to self-service kiosks to pick up at a more convenient time. The lockers hold packages for three days before they’re sent back for a refund, and are located in more than 900 cities and towns across the country.
Other companies are jumping on board, too, like UPS, which is working with a technology company to make it so drivers can deposit orders for apartment buildings in locked package rooms, the Times reported.
Meanwhile, FedEx’s vice president of retail and consumer marketing Dennis Shirokov told WLS-TV that the company will hold packages for up to five days for free so that customers can find a suitable time to pick them up without the risk of having them swiped.
Police across the country have offered suggestions, too, like the Chicago Police Department, which shared its ideas on the app Nextdoor.
The department encouraged people to sign up for delivery alerts so they were aware when their package had arrived, to require a signature for all deliveries, or to have packages shipped to their place of work.
The New York Police Department shared similar suggestions, and urged people to send packages to friends or relatives who they knew would be home, or get insurance on expensive buys.