The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at

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ITHACA, N.Y. — Chief of Police John R. Barber would like to remind our residents to be cautious when having packages delivered to your doorstep this holiday season.

Online shopping may offer convenience and a wider selection of gifts to purchase, but the delivery of those gifts to your home can be problematic if you are not careful.

More than 100,000 packages are stolen from doorsteps each year with a very disproportionate number occurring around the winter holiday season. The following safety tips have been offered by the United States Postal Service, UPS, and Fed Ex:

• Customize your deliveries. Ask the shipping vendor to customize your residential deliveries. You can change the time and location of delivery, request a signature upon delivery and even ask to have them hold your package if you know you’ll be out of the house when they try to deliver

• Consider an alternate destination. When you order something online, consider sending the package to your workplace or to a family member, friend or neighbor who is home during the day to accept delivery. When you know someone will be available to receive your delivery, you eliminate the possibility of your specially ordered gift being left unattended.

• Send it to your nearest shipping vendor (neighborhood post office, UPS delivery center, or Fed Ex shipping office). You can have your deliveries sent to their nearest location and they’ll hold it for you for typically up to five business days. This is usually offered at no additional cost.

• Request a signature. Many packages today are sent without requiring a signature for delivery. If you’re shipping something of high value — or you just want to be sure items aren’t left unattended — you can require a signature for packages to be released. Either the shipper or the recipient can make this request.

• Ask for a phone call or a knock at your door. You can leave instructions for delivery drivers to always ring your doorbell or knock on your door when a package is being left. Do you like your packages left behind the big planter, or tucked behind the grill beside the back door? When placing an order online give clear instructions that you want a phone call or a knock at the door prior to the delivery driver leaving the package.

Regarding package safety, Chief Barber commented “Please consider these safety tips. We have such a wonderful community and although these larcenies are rare I’d just hate to see someone’s holiday ruined because they didn’t follow these simple tips. If you have a package stolen from you please call the police immediately. We’ll investigate your complaint thoroughly and do our best to lift your holiday spirits too.”

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.