This week marks the beginning of the annual holiday gift-buying season. Each year, more and more shoppers are using on line or catalog services to order gifts to be delivered at their homes. Unfortunately, this is also the season when the theft of delivered packages increases across the nation and Somerville is no exception.
In 2011, there were 56 reported thefts of packages from the porches or doorsteps of Somerville residents. Thirty of those thefts happened from mid- November through the end of the year. Some arrests were made and some items were recovered. But our goal this year is to reduce this type of theft from happening at all.
There any many steps that home shoppers can take to reduce the chance that their deliveries will be stolen. Here are some helpful tips to prevent the theft of your package.
1. Have your package delivered to a location where someone can receive it in person. A neighbor or relative who is usually home, or if you have an understanding boss, to your workplace are good alternatives.
2. Encourage you neighbors to watch for deliveries and agree to secure each other’s packages. This includes being watchful for any stranger who is going onto porches for no apparent reason or following delivery trucks.
3. Request the shipper to hold your package at their facility. Most offer this service.
4. Track deliveries on line. Many companies offer a text notification to your cell phone when a package has been delivered.
5. Request a signature confirmation of delivery.
6. Insure valuable items.
7. Provide delivery instructions. If packages will be left while you are not home, try to have them left out of sight from the street.
If you see anyone acting suspicious, call 911.