(Update: Adding video, comments from DCSO, Redmond police)
Police offer tips to keep deliveries safe as holiday shopping ramps up
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Due to the pandemic, now more than ever, the field for Black Friday shopping is switching from malls and shopping centers to couches and computers.
With the increase in convenience, however, comes the greater chance someone could steal your packages from in front of your door, before you get it inside.
Lt. William Bailey from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office told NewsChannel 21 this happens year-round.
However, with more people already doing online shopping this year, local law enforcement agencies are stepping up their awareness campaigns.
Both the Bend and Redmond police departments have posted messages to residents online this week, warning them about "porch pirates" this holiday season and offering tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
“But with holiday shopping going on now, until Christmas," Bailey said, "the targets of opportunity are likely going to increase.”
Redmond police Lt. Jesse Petersen, the agency's public information officer, said the department has an online reporting tool for crimes like package thefts.
“Because we want to know about it," Petersen said. "Because a lot of times, where we end up writing search warrants for places and we come across a lot of property, and it’s clear that this person shouldn’t have that property, and we've got to try to identify the owner for it.”
Here are some of the tips provided by Redmond police on how to protect your home deliveries from thieves:
- Have packages delivered to your work.
- Schedule deliveries when you will be home, so packages are not left unattended for long.
- If you are traveling, contact your mail provider and place a hold on your items for when you return.
- With permission, have your package delivered to the home of a relative or friend who you know will be home.
- Let a trusted neighbor know if you are not home and have ordered something, so they can secure it for you until you can pick it up.
- Require a signature from the company dropping the item off.
- Ask your carrier to place packages in an area that is out of plain view.
- Take advantage of “Ship to Store” options that many stores offer.
- Lockboxes can be used to protect packages.
- Monitor the area where packages are dropped off with security cameras.