ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) -- To deter thieves who steal packages around the holiday season, the Round Rock Police Department is offering to be residents' new front porch.
From Dec. 1 to Dec. 22, people can have their holiday gifts shipped to the police department to pick up later, that way there's no chance someone could come along during the day while people are away from home and help themselves to their deliveries.
"Why not have the packages delivered here at the police department where we know that they'll be safe and our community can come pick them up," said Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks.
While you're picking up your package, the department is also asking for a toy or a cash donation for the Round Rock Operation Blue Santa Toy Drive, for families who can't afford gifts for their children.
"If we're helping you out, we're asking you to help someone that's in need out, and give them the opportunity to have a great holiday as well," said Banks.
"We've run into several problems, not having packages be it at my front door or even at the rental office," said Lauren Cho, who lives in Round Rock.
This year, Cho says she isn't dealing with the hassle of lost packages -- she will have hers shipped to the Round Rock Police Department. "It's just an extra sigh of relief, there's a lot of stuff going on during the holidays," explains Cho. "Just being assured that if my package is being delivered, it's actually being delivered."
People must ship the packages to their name and use the address 2701 North Mays St., Round Rock, TX 78665. The packages need to be picked up within two days of being delivered, otherwise the department will send it back. To make sure the correct package goes to the right person, those coming to the station to get their gifts must bring the following:
- Government-issued ID card with a Round Rock Address
- Order/shipment proof of receipt
The department says you should receive a notice when your package arrives, but the department will also call to notify you. The lobby is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On the last pickup day, Dec. 22, it will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Reports of package thefts have been growing in the Round Rock area. In 2014, there were just four reports. In 2015, that number doubled, and last year there were 13.
If you already have a package on the way, you can actually change the address while it's in transit -- this is known as package intercept. It redirects the items back to the sender, a new address, or the post office if you know you're not going to be home for delivery. You can also request the post office hold the package so you can pick it up.
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