Online Purchases Worth Hundreds Stolen From Tulsa Woman's Porch

Monday, December 10th 2012, 4:53 pm
By: Craig Day

The National Retail Federation says more than half of Americans will do at least some of their Christmas shopping online this year.

It saves time and often saves money, but it also gives thieves plenty of opportunities to swipe your stuff while you're away.

A Tulsa woman found that out the hard way.

Shelley Almanza has been online shopping for years and never had a problem, until this year.

"I guess somebody decided they needed my packages worse than I did," Almanza said.

Almanza said a thief took four packages left by both Fed Ex and UPS on her front porch.

12/1/2012 Related Story: 'Grinch' Steals Christmas Package From Tulsa Home

"They made a heck of haul off our porch," Almanza said.

One package was a Christmas present for her daughter-in-law: camera equipment worth about $800.

"It's just so aggravating. You work so hard to pay for something and get it all planned as a surprise Christmas gift, and the thieves probably won't even get what it's worth, probably, when they sell it," said Almanza.

The National Retail Federation says $1.4 billion was spent on Cyber Monday, alone, this year, and online purchases are up overall by 17 percent.

It all adds up to more stuff on doorsteps, creating more tempting targets for thieves.

"Her surprise is ruined," Almanza said.

She said she wishes she would have followed the advice many law enforcement agencies give, like letting a trusted neighbor know when a delivery will be made or having items sent to your workplace, if possible.

She also wishes Santa would bring the thieves some character this season.

"If I can make it to work every day, why the heck can't they?" Almanza said. "They should be going to work instead of helping themselves to stuff on people's porches."

Both Fed Ex and UPS investigators are looking into the thefts.

But Almanza isn't optimistic about getting the stuff she ordered.

"Chances are, we're just out the money on everything. I mean, it's just really aggravating. Stupid crooks," Almanza said.

Experts also say if you see any suspicious people lurking in the neighborhood, or following delivery trucks, don't hesitate to report it to police.