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Holiday season delivery thefts start early in River Park

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Cyber Monday is just around the corner.  But, the flow of packages and holiday gifts, getting delivered to your door, has already started.

Some neighbors in South Bend's River Park neighborhood, say that their packages from Santa have been swiped, right off their front porches.

It's no secret to anyone living in the neighborhood, that leaving a package out on the porch, is risky. 

"I know packages get stolen around here. I don't really trust a package sitting on my porch all day," says Mark Echard.

Echard moved to the River Park neighborhood a couple of years ago.

He was warned by neighbors, almost immediately. 

"I'm just afraid it'll get stolen," he adds.

Posts in the River Park neighborhood Facebook group already show, it's happening yet again.

One woman posted that her Christmas gifts were take,.

That's where Bob Pellegrino comes in.

"We heard from the neighbors that there were a lot of packages being stolen off porches," says Pellegrino. "So, we decided it would be a nice gesture to offer our shop as a place for packages to be delivered."

He owns Avenue Automotive, right in the heart of River Park.

Last year, he opened his own heart, by allowing people to ship their packages to his shop.

"We had 18 people who called and said they were having their packages delivered, for a total of 22 packages,"  he recalls. 

This year, he plans to do the same. 

"It worked well last year and we're not changing the rules," says Pellegrino.

It may be news to some, like Echard who was surprised by the news, but it is appreciated by many.

"It's great idea, I think it should be more implemented all over the city," says Echard.

Pellegrino says all you have to do, is call them and let them know you're planning to ship something there, and to bring an ID when you plan to pick it up.

"We take care of our  people here in River Park," adds Pellegrino. 


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