November and December are prime months for “package theft” as Internet purchases and holiday gift-giving spur more home deliveries. The Lakewood Sheriff’s Station offers these tips to help thwart package delivery thefts.
Many packages come straight to the customer’s door even if no one is home to accept them. Unfortunately, this also brings out individuals who see it as a crime of opportunity. Thieves will follow or watch for FedEx, UPS, US Mail and other delivery trucks and then target a home after a delivery is made.
Lakewood Station offers the following advice:
- Choose a shipping option that requires you to sign for delivery.
- Check delivery status online so you can try to be home when the package arrives. Some retailers even offer text messages to your cell phone to alert you when items have been delivered.
- On the expected day of arrival, post a note on your door asking the delivery service to leave the package with a trusted neighbor.
- Arrange to have the package shipped to another location where someone can receive it. This could be your workplace, a friend or relative’s home, or even the local “mailbox” business that may agree to accept shipment of your item for a fee.
- Ask the delivery service to hold your package for customer pick-up at their local shipping facility.
If you do not receive your shipment on time, check with the company of origin and confirm the delivery. If the item was delivered and you did not receive it, report the theft or loss to the original company, the shipping company, and the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station at 562-623-3500.
Many of these crimes occur during broad daylight. As always, be alert about suspicious behavior in your neighborhood, especially if you see a delivery truck making the rounds and a vehicle following behind or unfamiliar subjects on foot. If you see something, say something.
Be prepared to call the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station at 562-623-3500 to report this type of suspicious activity or call 9-1-1 if you observe a crime in progress.
Get as much descriptive information as you can about the type of vehicle, color, make/model, license plate info, and if you can, provide descriptive information about the person or persons in the vehicle – age, hair color, clothing description and color, distinguishing features – facial hair, tattoos, height, or anything else you think may help the deputies catch them.