Somerville Police Department
220 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143
(In Union Square)
East Substation: 81 Broadway
West Substation: 1114 Broadway

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Tips to Prevent Package Thefts

This week marks the beginning of the annual holiday gift buying season. Each year, more and more shoppers are using online or catalog services to order gifts to be delivered to 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. 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 officer 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.
8. If you see anyone acting suspicious, call 911.

Enjoy your holidays and be safe.
 

Missing Person - Muhammas Ilyas

missingThis 53 year old non-English speaking male, Muhammad Ilyas, has been missing since Friday, November 25th. He is approx. 6'0" and average build. He has medical and psychological issues according to his family. He is known to frequent the Union Square and Twin City Mall areas. Any information, please contact the Somerville Police 617 625-1212


 

Somerville Police Investigate Diversion Thefts

Somerville Police are seeking to identify the suspects depicted in the attached video in connection with a series of diversion thefts at neighborhood convenience stores. In a recent incident at Shivalic Food and Spices at 310 Broadway in Somerville on November 10th, a lone subject enters the store shortly after opening and presents a large bill for a small purchase.   Knowing that the clerk will not have sufficient change in the register, the clerk will go to wherever additional working cash is stored. After seeing where the clerk retrieves the money, the lone subject then leaves the store.

A short time later, two other accomplices enter the store and make separate purchases of lottery tickets.   The second accomplice makes a legitimate purchase and remains in the store. The third accomplice short changes the clerk for the lottery tickets and quickly leaves the store while the second accomplice is still at the counter. The second accomplice then goes outside and tells the clerk that the third subject is still outside. In an attempt to recover the money, the clerk runs outside to confront the suspect. At this point, while the clerk is occupied outside the store, trying to recover the under payment, the first suspect re-enters the store, goes to where the extra cash is stored and quickly steals the hidden cash, and leaves in less than thirty seconds. The clerk is usually unaware of the theft until long after the suspects have left.

Two similar incidents are under investigation, one at the Y-Not Variety in Somerville on November 18th and another at a convenience store in Everett. The suspects appear to be targeting local stores operated by middle Eastern clerks. The suspects in the Shiivalic incident are described as three males, possibly Hispanic, in their twenties to thirties. The suspects in the Y-Not incident are two possibly Hispanic males (same as the Shivalic incident) and one female.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Somerville Police at 617 625-1212.

 
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