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Package delivery takes on a high-tech look in Asheville

The Amazon Locker, developed six years ago and in use worldwide, just arrived in Western North Carolina. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

If you're holiday shopping online and worried about package theft, a box with lots of drawers found at a local grocery store might be the solution.

It's become an all too familiar sight in recent years -- thieves making off with holiday packages in broad daylight. Just last month, a security camera caught such a crime in Asheville's Biltmore Park.

"We have some outside security cameras. And it caught a car coming up and a person getting out of the car and taking the packages and taking off, kind of in the middle of the day," Jon Silver said.

It is a crime of opportunity, and easy for the thief, just wait for the delivery truck to leave, snatch and run.

But a new secure system for package delivery has made its way to the mountains. You might call it the "box that Amazon built."

The strange looking box sits against a wall at Greenlife Grocery.

The Amazon Locker, developed six years ago and in use worldwide, just arrived in Western North Carolina.

Amazon customers still order online, their delivery confirmation is emailed, the locker pickup comes with the scan of a barcode, the package is delivered -- all without fear of theft.

And law enforcement loves it.

"As much as we love to talk with residents, we hate to have to talk to you when you've had something stolen," Asheville Police Department's Christina Hallingse said.

The thieves that took Silver's packages likely followed the delivery truck and struck immediately after the boxes were dropped off.

"Nowadays, you know, people are following the UPS trucks, and they're just, if you're leaving packages, then they're coming and taking them away," Asheville resident Steve Lowe said.

Silver said he may see an Amazon Locker in his future.

"I think, if it was a local area where you could pick up packages, I would absolutely use it," he said.

Lowe knows the story, the risk of delivery at home when you're not there. Now he sees a reward.

"So here, you just come, you're going shopping for some food, or milk, or whatever you need, and you come in and you just get your package, put in your receipt, and it registers it. There you go, you got it. I think that's fantastic, I really do," Lowe said.

Amazon owns Whole Foods, which owns Greenlife.

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