Holiday Shopping Safety
Always avoid dark areas in parking lots and ATMs. Your most important defense – BE ALERT!!! Giving the appearance of not paying attention is what criminals look for in potential victims.
Vehicle Burglary Prevention
Vehicle burglaries remain one of the most frequently reported crimes of opportunity but are the most preventable. Vehicle burglars are active year round but especially during the holiday season prowling parking lots of malls, stores and restaurants. Some tips to becoming a harder target for vehicle burglars are:
Remember it only takes seconds for a vehicle burglar to access your vehicle and steal your property. They look just like anybody else and move about freely and unnoticed in crowded parking lots. For your own safety, do not intervene in a vehicle burglary in progress. Notify store security or a store employee.
Tips to Send Porch Pirates Packing
As the holidays collide with COVID-19, expect a surge in package thefts. Sticky-fingered porch pirates continue to steal items delivered to front doors before the recipients retrieve them. Some swoop in on foot or bikes; others skulk in by car. Thieves even have been known to “tailgate” behind delivery trucks.
Here are some tips you can follow to avoid becoming a victim of these porch pirates:
1. Retrieve a package as soon as it arrives. Or avoid delivery by using ship-to-store or curbside pickup.
2. Use a tracking feature to check online when a package is scheduled to arrive. UPS, for example has UPS My Choice to help track and reroute package deliveries.
3. Request that your package is sent with the “signature required” feature so it can’t be delivered without one.
4. If you’re not going to be home, set up a specific delivery time when you will be.
5. Choose an alternative pickup location.
FedEx has more than 14,000 sites in the U.S. including FedEx Offices, FedEX Ship Centers and retailers including Walgreens, Albertsons, Kroger and Dollar General.
UPS Access Point locations for pickups include the UPS Store, Michaels, CVS, Advance Auto Parts and self-service lockers.
Amazon uses Amazon Lockers.
For a fee, USPS offers a “Package Intercept” feature, although not all parcels are eligible.
6. If you are leaving town, ask for your shipments to be held. USPS’ free, “hold mail” requests must be for at least 3 days and for a maximum of 30 days.
7. FedEX accepts vacation holds for up to 14 days; it also will store your delivery for free for up to 5 days at many locations.
8. Consider a security camera. Some signal your phone, tablet or personal computer if your doorbell is rung.
9. Instruct delivery firms where to leave your package so it isn’t visible from the street.
10. Get an app. The FedEx mobile app lets package recipients electronically sign for a package, request a vacation hold or choose a hold at one of its locations. Some security cameras let you use an app to watch over your home from your smartphone. UPS lets you track your shipment.