PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- Holiday packages are expected to arrive soon for many people. This year, delivery estimates claim that UPS will send out over 600 million gift boxes between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

As more people shop online, the concern for keeping those goodies safe upon arrival rises. Nextdoor, an app that allows people to stay connected with people in their neighborhood, conducted a survey on package thefts.

According to the study, 42 percent of neighbors reported having a package stolen. 61 percent said they purposefully did not have their online purchase shipped to their house in order to prevent theft.

The Portsmouth Police Department is offering tips on how to keep thieves from being the Grinch of this holiday season. Here are some ways you can prevent the crime:

  • Ask your employer if they will allow you to have your packages sent to work.
  • Request a signature confirmation from the shipper or ask the shipper to hold the package at their facility for you for pick up.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor or friend, who is home during the day, if your package(s) can be delivered to their home.
  • If you are purchasing items from a large retailer online or by telephone, have the packages sent to a local store for pick up.
  • Customize your package shipments. Many shippers, such as UPS and FED-EX, will allow you to request a specific delivery date, time or location. You can also get real time tracking for your package deliveries. (A small fee may apply.)
  • Provide the shipper with delivery instructions if you want your packages left in a specific spot at your home.

If you see anyone taking packages from homes in your community, call the police department immediately.