Helena police offers tips for holiday package deliveries

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – With Christmas just a few short weeks away, it’s one of the busiest times of the year for online shopping, but this unfortunately means more opportunities for theft of valuable packages.

As Helena residents opt for the convenience of online Christmas shopping, the Helena Police Department offered several tips aimed at detering thieves from stealing holiday deliveries.

The following tips for online shopping were as follows:

–Ask for a tracking number. Track your packages and try to be home at the time of delivery. When placing an order, try to schedule shipment for a day you expect to be home, if possible.

–Require a signature on delivery. This will ensure the package won’t be left at the door without someone being there to sign and bring it safely inside.

–Provide delivery instructions. Leave a note specifying what less conspicuous spot you would like the package left.

–Have your packages delivered somewhere else. If you know you won’t be home when your package will be delivered, have it delivered to a neighbor who is home or to your workplace, if allowed.

–Use online pickup services or smart package lockers. Some retailers will let customers place online orders and then pick up the items in the store. Customers can also look into the Amazon Locker service, which delivers Amazon orders to a “locker” in your area.

–Mail Holding Service. Mail Holding Service securely holds letters and packages at the local post office until you’re back in town. Many delivery companies such as USPS and FedEx offer a free service to uphold your package at their terminals or delivery centers for a period of time.

–Insure your upcoming packages. Insuring packages will guarantee reimbursement if a delivery was stolen or lost.

–Install a smart security camera at your front door. Have a smart video surveillance camera pointing at the front door, hallway or driveway. A security camera will serve as a deterrent for criminals and provide evidence to aid in the arrest and prosecution of thieves.

To contact the Helena Police Department, call 663-6499. If there is an emergency, dial 911.