From Decatur PD’s Sgt. Jennifer Ross…
Within a day of “Cyber Monday” in 2013, we began to experience package thefts in various neighborhoods around Decatur. The thefts were occurring at single family homes as well as multi-unit condo properties. Unfortunately as many of us start our holiday shopping, others are starting their holiday stealing. The best defense to counter those who forage our community for packages is a good offense. Here are some tips that may help.
– If possible, ship your packages to your work location or a location where you know someone will be there to receive the package such as the home of a friend or loved one who you know is home during the day.
– Request that a signature be required to deliver the package.
– Track your packages and ask a family member, friend or neighbor to look out and take the packages in when they arrive.
– If you are traveling, make sure to ask a family member, friend or neighbor to check for packages at your home. You may have received a gift delivery you were not expecting.
– If you live at a location that requires passcode or keycard entry, do not let people you do not know tag-a-long behind you and enter the property. If they are aggressive, do not confront them, call police immediately and provide a detailed description of the person, what they are wearing and where they were last seen.
– If you observe people you do not recognize on a neighbor’s property, pay attention and if it appears they are removing packages, call police immediately and provide the same descriptive information and also watch to see if the person goes back to a vehicle and provide a description of the vehicle and their direction of travel.
– Keep an eye out in your neighborhood for vehicles that appear to be following delivery trucks and stopping at locations where the delivery trucks just made a delivery.
Also, shipping companies are now offering various options for deliveries such as scheduling your deliveries and receiving alerts the day before packages will be delivered. You can also reroute or reschedule deliveries or arrange for in-store pick-up if you are not able to be home to accept them.
Find out what options are available for a more secure delivery from the delivery company you are using. Monitor and inventory your deliveries and don’t assume your packages were sent in separate shipments. In some instances some packages are stolen while some were left behind.