Van Alstyne police combat porch pirates with package delivery program

GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

But buyers beware, porch pirates could get to your packages first.

The Van Alstyne police department has a program in place to make sure your packages make it under your tree this year.

As of September 1, it's a felony in Texas to steal packages from another person's mailbox or porch.

But with the holidays coming up, police said people still need to be careful.

"Usually with online shopping you get a lot better deals," online shopper Lauren Degelia said.

Degelia said she shops online more than she shops in a store.

She said she gets packages delivered to her house, and makes sure she tracks the shipping to avoid porch pirates.

"Getting those online updates is actually really good because it tells you when they're likely going to arrive so you can always just be on the lookout for that," Degelia said.

She said that doesn't keep her from worrying.

"It's really scary around Black Friday and other holidays because people are more prone to steal your packages," Degelia said.

Police say her worries are justified.

"Crime is always on the rise during the holidays," Van Alstyne police Sgt. Steven Hayslip said.

Sgt. Hayslip said his department is offering a way for people to make sure they get their packages safely.

Shoppers can have their online orders shipped directly to the police department if they live within city limits.

"That way it eliminates the risk of having someone take it off their front porch," Hayslip said.

Sgt. Hayslip said people just have to bring in a valid ID, and they can pick up their packages.

"It's our way of being able to put our community first, that's really the grand theme of the motto of our department," Hayslip said.

Van Alstyne police say they'll accept packages until January 1.