New Amazon Lockers in Citrus Heights Help Fight ‘Porch Pirates’

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CITRUS HEIGHTS -- 'Tis the season for online shopping, but, as shoppers know, there are some risks.

"There's a fear of when your packages come. Is it really going to be there when you come home?" Amazon shopper Tiffany Haberman asked.

Haberman said so far, she has been lucky. But on Facebook, the evidence is clear.

People are posting surveillance videos of so-called "porch pirates" stealing their packages when they are not home.

They are asking people to help identify the thieves.

It's a scary thought for Haberman.

"Even with the cameras, sometimes you can't make out who it is, and you're kind of terrified that somebody has the courage to go up onto your patio and just take your items," Haberman said.

But there's an alternative -- the Amazon Locker.

It began a few years ago at college campuses like UC Davis, for students waiting to get their text books delivered.

Now they are available for any online shopper.

Two weeks ago, the Safeway in Citrus Heights, on Greenback Lane, adopted the Amazon Locker, providing residents a secure place to have their items delivered.

Instead of entering their own address, shoppers just click the most convenient Amazon Locker. When it arrives, they get a pick up code. Within three business days, simply enter it in the machine, and retrieve the package.

The new system is so successful that Citrus Heights Police is now encouraging people to use it, rather than the traditional alternative.

"It's a win-win for everybody. It's less potential for things to get stolen, It's less potential for the police department to have to conduct an investigation, sometimes a lengthy investigation. If it's predictable, it's preventable," Citrus Heights Police Officer Anthony Boehle said.

Haberman said she will definitely start using it, especially because her husband is the making those deliveries.

"As a wife of a UPSer to have it all in one spot, and ton be able to drop off multiple packages, so that my Santa's helper can come home at a reasonable time to be with me, is amazing," Haberman said.

Amazon said there are now about 40 Amazon Lockers in the Sacramento region. There is no additional charge for the shipping option.