PPD offers tips to deter thieves this holiday season

Published 9:47 pm Monday, December 3, 2018

PELHAM – The Pelham Police Department is encouraging residents to beware of porch pirates this holiday season and to take the necessary steps to deter thieves.

Porch pirates, people who steal delivered packages from doorsteps, have been around for a long time but the problem is perhaps becoming a bigger issue because more people are buying online and having products delivered to their home, according to police.

Vehicle break-ins, with unlocked cars being the primary targets, and purse snatchings also increase around the holiday season. In addition to locking doors, residents should not leave valuable items, such as purses or laptops, in their vehicles.

Although police tend to patrol shopping centers more heavily during the holiday season, residents are still encouraged to be vigilant and contact police if they see something suspicious.

Shoppers should also always be prepared to enter their vehicles. According to police, it’s best to have your keys ready by the time you make it to the car. It’s dangerous to stand at the vehicle fumbling and looking for keys, or to sit a purse on the hood of the car while loading bags into the car. And if someone approaches, go on alert.

For those having packages delivered this holiday season, here are some other tips to consider:

-When having packages delivered, sign up for delivery alerts from the shipper. If no one is home during delivery, message a neighbor to have them take the package back to their place until you get home.

-Leave instructions to have the delivery person drop the package at your back door.

-If possible, require a signature for all deliveries. If there’s no one home to sign for the package, it won’t be left at the home.

-If possible, have packages delivered to your workplace.

-Be neighborly. If you see a package sitting on a neighbor’s doorstep, reach out and ask if they would like you to hold it until they are home.

-Consider installing surveillance cameras around your home, especially at the front door.

-Look into buying extra insurance for valuable items.

-Consider having the package delivered to the retail chain you’re buying from and pick it up at one of their local stores.