With holiday gift-buying happening more and more online, Boston Police were warning those shopping from their laptops and smartphones to beware curbside package thieves.

“It’s a concern year round, but obviously people get more deliveries around the holiday season so there’s an uptick there,” spokesman Stephen McNulty told Metro on Tuesday. “It’s something to keep an eye on.”

So far this year, the department has actually seen a decrease in thefts of packages from doorsteps. BPD received 343 reports of package thefts from doorsteps so far in 2015, police said – a number slightly down from last year, when there were 355 reported thefts over the same period. The data BPD gave Metro includes Boston and Brookline and does not include thefts reported in December, 2014.

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The department on Tuesday also posted   a list of tips on protecting gift deliveries:

  • Send packages to friends you know will be home when the delivery arrives
  • Ask delivery companies not to drop off packages if you aren’t home. Many local delivery centers will hold a package for up to 5 days.
  • Ask companies to ask for a signature before dropping a package off.
  • Leave a note on your door with special instructions: for example that you want your package dropped off behind or beside your house.
  • Have your packages delivered to a drop-off center, or to your work, instead. 

For more tips on safe and on-time gift-delivering, check out advisories from FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service