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It seems that no matter where you live; Myrtle Beach, Maryland or Massachusetts the delivery trucks know where to find you this time of year. I bet like us, you rely on UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Services to deliver the packages loaded with the gifts you shopped for online!
If you leave for work early in the morning, these packages will be delivered to your home and left unattended on your doorstep until you come home.
There are TWO PROBLEMS with this.
First off, this alerts would-be-thieves that you aren’t home. Packages left on a doorstep signals to them that the house is empty – not just empty now, but empty aaaaaallllll day.
Second, packages left on doorsteps also signals to them that you have money to buy packages and that you are holidays shopping online. This might spike an interest in your home for ‘future reference’ meaning you might be put on a criminals’ home invasion hit list!
Watch how this happened to a family in St Louis County, Missouri and how savvy the 65 year old thief was! She was caught of course, because of the home security cameras installed in and outside this home, and police have this to say as a warming for others.
“You just think ‘Two-day shipping, I’ll pick it up when we get home from work that night,’” said St. Louis County Police Sgt. Shawn McGuire. “This time of year is really known for this type of stuff. Criminals know that packages are being delivered to people’s houses for Christmas.”
You may expect all those packages to draw criminals, but maybe not a criminal like this one.
“The (surveillance) video shows an elderly woman, almost looks like someone’s grandma,” said the victim, who asked not to be identified. “She just bends down, grabs them like they’re hers, and walks away.”
The victim had three packages stolen from his front porch in Oakville late Wednesday afternoon, just before 5:00 p.m.
His home surveillance camera caught what he and his wife missed: the same black, H3 Hummer passing their driveway four times in less than five minutes. Two minutes after the Hummer’s last pass, the thief walked onto the porch and took the packages.
“If you see any suspicious vehicles following a UPS truck or FedEx truck or you see a car non-stop circling around a certain neighborhood or a street, going back and forth at a slow rate of speed like they’re checking out a house, please get that license plate and call us immediately,” McGuire said.
“No one would expect an elderly (person), whether or not it’s a disguise, it sure looks like it’s just an elderly woman to me,” the victim said. “I would love for people to know and be aware this does happen. You see it on the news and you don’t think it’s going to happen to you. I’m just thankful we were able to have cameras and get some evidence for the police.”
Police suggest having packages dropped at your back door or arrange to pick up them up at the Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx, and let trusted neighbors know when you have an important delivery coming.
Here is another – local Myrtle Beach – cover story by ABC News about packages being stolen and crime prevention.
“If you’re having a package that’s going to be shipped to you, one, make sure that you’re home if you’re able to. If you’re not, try to have it shipped to your place of work or, if possible, have someone that’s a close friend or relative accept that package for you so that it’s not sitting outside,” Crosby said.
Bradford owns JerriBob’s Mail Service, and she said about half of her customers ask about their packages’ safety.
She has some advice for everyone who shares the same concerns: “Require the signature, especially if there is anything of value. You want to make sure that somebody is home to sign for it. You can also do the scheduling of the delivery.”
The St Louis police also had several good suggestions:
Here are a few things you can do to prevent your holiday packages from disappearing
We can add ONE MORE suggestion to this list
We wish you a happy, healthy, safe and secure Merry Christmas.