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Real-Life Grinches Make Home Delivery More Risky, Complicated

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DALLAS -- When the Grinch was the one stealing Christmas, he had to sneak down the chimney, bag everything up, and then make his escape.  Nowadays, it can be way simpler to steal people's holiday cheer, especially when gifts are boxed up and left on folks' porches.

And as Jo Trizila of Dallas found out last week, deliveries don't have to be there long to become tempting targets for thieves.

Her packages were on the doorstep for only about half an hour when someone ran up, grabbed them, and ran.

Luckily, she was home sick that day and had a security system that alerted her to the movement on the porch.  An eyewitness neighbor helped too, and before long the cops had the suspect in custody, and Jo had her boxes back.

But lots of folks aren't so lucky.  We're in the middle of the busiest shipping season of the year. How can we protect ourselves?

The most obvious answer is to have the delivery service hold your package until you sign for it, or pick it up from their location. But deliveries are supposed to be convenient!

Trizila's advice? "Get to know your neighbors," she said.  "If you're not at home, have a neighbor come over and pick [your packages] up."

And, do what she did, and invest in a security camera system.

"It's the best investment because there's proof now," said Trizila. "We have it on camera."

Hey, at least this story has a happy ending!  Unless, of course, you're the guy in jail for stealing boxes from strangers.