SARTELL -- With the holidays around the corner police are cautioning you to be careful as you're sending and receiving packages or gifts through the mail.

If you take some extra steps you can keep your holiday packages safe this season. Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes says you should always pick a secure outgoing mailbox when sending gifts.

"If you're mailing something, especially around the holidays, not to put it in your outgoing mailbox but actually take it to a secure mailbox at the post office or another mail drop location verses your mailbox along the road."

Picking up your mail every day will also decrease your chances of mail theft. If you're concerned about a package that may be stolen Hughes says it's a good idea to talk a trusted neighbor or close friend.

"Everybody has a neighbor that they trust, right? So why would it hurt or not hurt to talk with your neighbor and say hey if you're home all day and see this package coming to my house, would you mind going out and grabbing it and letting me know just so it doesn't get stolen."

If you're not home very much, you should look into shipping your packages to your work, if allowed by your employer.

"I also know a lot of business owners seem to be more and more allowing their employees, as long as they don't have a lot of employees, to have packages delivered to their place of work, rather than their home."

Hughes also says to pay close attention to delivery times and days. If you haven't received a package within the delivery time be sure to call the company the package is being shipped from, to confirm it was delivered. If you suspect your package was stolen call your local police department as well as the Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455.