If you have been waiting for your package to arrive on your doorstep, and remain on your doorstep, you are mistaken. SPD Crime Statistics show that in 2013, there were a reported 75 package thefts from porches and doorsteps of Somerville residents. Fast forward to 2016 that number for the past two years on average 19 package thefts were reported between Thanksgiving & Christmas holiday season in Somerville, MA. This is about 25% of our yearly reported total. Nevertheless, it is possible that many package thefts are never reported, so this average could be higher. Some arrests were made and some items were recovered. The goal is to reduce this type of theft from happening at all, and residents are the key to make this happen.
Although these statistics show an increase during the holiday season, there have been reported package thefts in our area throughout the year. If you haven't started taking steps to prevent your packages from being stolen, you may want to start now. With the steady increase in popularity of online shopping discounts and catalog services, the convenience of home shopping is nevertheless a necessity for some. There are many steps for home shoppers to use and therefore reduce the chance of stolen deliveries. Here are just a few helpful tips to get you started.
1. Have your package delivered to a location where someone can receive it in person. A neighbor or relative who is usually home.
2. If you have an understanding boss, your workplace is a good alternative.
3. Start a neighborhood 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 reason or following delivery trucks.
4. Hold your package at the shipping facility, if the service is available.
5. Track your deliveries online. Most of you might already do this, an added bonus is allowing text notifications to your cell phone for when the package is delivered.
6. Request a signature confirmation of delivery
7. Provide delivery instructions. Set instructions to leave packages out-of-sight from the street.
Finally, we encourage residents to report package thefts to the SPD. Reports help track specific areas of related theft incidents and help the Somerville Police Department assign officers to those areas.