Reading, MA — With the holiday season approaching, Chief David Clark and the Reading Police Department would like to provide tips for how to prevent theft for residents expecting package deliveries in the coming weeks.
According to the National Neighborhood Watch, nearly one in four adults in the United States has reported having a package stolen at least once.
“It’s unfortunately all too common to see a rise in reported package thefts this time of year,” Chief Clark said. “We hope the following tips will be helpful as you plan out your deliveries in the coming weeks, and we wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season.”
The Reading Police Department wishes to share the following tips from the National Neighborhood Watch to help prevent package theft:
- Consider getting a P.O. box at your local post office or having packages delivered to your office
- Set up notifications to track your packages
- Install a security camera in the area(s) outside your home where packages may be delivered
- Require a signature upon delivery to ensure packages are never left unattended
- Reschedule delivery or ask for a package hold when on vacation
- Research potential home security technology and locking device options to protect and monitor packages
- Ask your neighbors to grab your packages for safekeeping until you return home
- If you find your package has been stolen, immediately report it to Reading Police
Chief Clark would also like to offer tips to holiday shoppers on how to avoid any incidents or theft while shopping in stores and online:
- As more people are on the road during the holiday season, be sure to drive carefully. Be patient when looking for a parking space. Do not speed up in a parking lot to catch an empty spot. Look for other cars or people when backing out of a parking space, and back out slowly.
- Keep shopping bags out of plain sight in your vehicle, preferably in your trunk.
- Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket.
- Save your receipts and monitor your credit card activity.
- When shopping online, stick to retailers you know or have shopped with before.
- Do not use public Wi-Fi to make purchases in order to prevent hackers from intercepting your information.
The men and women of the Reading Police Department wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!
Mailbox Theft Prevention
The Reading Police Department wishes to also share information about theft prevention when using curbside blue mailboxes.
Recently, Reading Police have received several reports of items being removed or “fished” out of the public mailboxes, providing criminals access to personal information and checks.
The Reading Police Department wishes to offer the following tips from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) to help prevent mail theft and protect your personal information:
- Deposit all outgoing mail at your local post office or hand it to a uniformed USPS letter carrier.
- Deposit your outgoing mail in a blue USPS collection box prior to the last pickup time of the day.
- If you do not receive a check, credit card, or other valuable mail you’re expecting, contact the sender as soon as possible and inquire about it. Never send cash through the mail.
- When mailing something important, consider requesting Signature Confirmation for the intended recipient.
- Do not leave mail or packages next to a collection box if it is full, or if your package does not fit.
Additionally, if you believe that a collection box has been tampered with or if you see any suspicious activity, please contact the Reading Police Department, and report suspected mail losses to Postal Inspectors by calling 877-876-2455 or at www.uspis.gov.