CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - This is a great time of year because you never know what you're going to find in your mailbox or on your porch.
Between Christmas cards and packages shipped to your home there are plenty of surprises.
Thieves think this is a great time of year too, though, because they're keeping careful watch on your mailbox and they're ready to pounce and steal your holiday cheer.
"The mail is chocked full of cards with gift cards and all of those packages. These are red flag bandits taking from your mailbox or front porch," said Tom Bartholomy, President of the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau.
The US Postal Service says it does see a slight up-tick in reports of theft, and people just not getting what was sent to them, during the holidays.
They shared with WBTV some advice to help you keep your deliveries safe.
If you're going on vacation ask your local post office to hold your mail.
If you are home you shouldn't wait to get your mail. The more time it spends in the box, the more vulnerable it is.
Ask neighbors to keep an eye out. Maybe they can hold your packages if you're at work.
If you are sending a little something extra in a holiday card, don't send cash. Send a gift card instead. Copy the gift card number down before you send it in case it is lost or stolen.
Finally think about starting a neighborhood watch-type program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with the neighbors you trust you can watch each others mailboxes.
If you think you have a thief in your neighborhood, call police, and the Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.
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