ATLANTA -- Every holiday season, you see it more and more: packages delivered and left unattended on front porches.
Unfortunately, thieves are watching, too. And once they get their hands on your package, it can be nearly impossible to get it back.
Atlanta Police Officer Rayshawn Larry says APD has seen an increase in stolen packages because more people are shopping online.
"Definitely request a signature or confirmation upon delivery," Larry said. "That ensures that the last person who received it will be accountable for that package."
In Virginia-Highland, residents have come up with their own protective method. Nearly three years ago, the civic association called on local businesses to act as safe delivery zones. Neighbors can sign up to have their packages delivered directly to one of the stores, where it will be held securely until picked up.
Virginia-Highland community watch organizer John Wolfinger helped originate the program. He estimates more than a thousand people are now registered, and says the results have been amazing.
"We went from a real rash of these crimes to a situation now where we very seldom have these things happen anymore," Wolfinger said.
Officer Larry suggests tracking the package online; detailed updates make it easier to be at home when it's delivered. Residents can also contact the shipping company and request the package be held at the distribution center for pick-up.
Wolfinger says the safe address delivery program is available year-round and not limited to Virginia-Highland residents. To learn more, visit the Virginia-Highland Civic Association website.