Updated: Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012, 7:15 AM EST
Published : Monday, 26 Nov 2012, 7:04 PM EST
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - If you're one of the millions buying online this Cyber Monday take care when and where you have those packages sent.
Shipping companies confirm packages disappear off front porches more this time of year.
Law enforcement in Hampton Roads don't keep track of thefts specifically from porches, but admit it's a problem that increases during the holiday season. They call it a crime of opportunity and with an estimated 129 million shoppers expected to buy online Cyber Monday alone, that creates a lot of opportunity.
Shipping companies acknowledge the problem and are responding with new ways for customers to protect their packages. UPS recently introduced My Choice .
"So what this service does is you'll receive a delivery notice the day before the delivery is to arrive. You'll get that via text or email so you can plan accordingly," said UPS spokesman Tyre Sperling.
If you're not going to be home you can have a package rerouted to the UPS store where you can pick it up later.
FedEx offers the same kind of rerouting option and both companies do this at no extra cost.
Both also encourage online shoppers to ship smart. An example of that is to have a package delivered to you at work. You could also ask a neighbor to look out for it, or ask the sender to require a signature.
UPS told WAVY.com its drivers are trained to leave packages out of site, but without special instructions drivers drop them off and move on to the next stop.