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Thieves and burglars are working from home - yours
MURPHY (December 1, 2020) While many industries are accommodating their employees by allowing them to work from home, residents should bear in mind that thieves and burglars are not similarly constrained.
The season that ushers in an upward spike in thefts and burglaries has arrived. There are a few steps, though, that can help prevent residents from being victimized. Above all, keep an eye on purses and wallets, which can be easily taken even while the owner is nearby. Withdrawing large sums from ATM machines is particularly discouraged as vulnerability at these locations is high.
“Before getting in the car for that shopping trip, throw a blanket in the car,” says Police Chief Trey Cotten. “The blanket can cover your purchases while you’re away from the car. Also, keep all your receipts, which will be necessary if your car gets broken into.”
Blinds and curtains at home should remain closed when the home is unoccupied. Showing off the decorated Christmas tree with lots of wrapped gifts underneath it can impress the neighbors but can also attract burglars.
Delivery drop-off instructions can be arranged with most carriers online. These instructions may include asking delivery drivers to leave packages in secure places, such as the side of the house, at the back door or in the garage or even with a neighbor.
“Track when your package will arrive and be ready to receive it,” adds the Chief. “You might be able to schedule the delivery according to your schedule, or at the very least, you’ll know when to be home to accept it. If you’re away from home for an extended period, you can have your packages held for pickup or schedule a later delivery.”
New anti-theft technology can also help. These include connected home devices like the Nest Cam, Ring, or any of the other video surveillance products. Some anti-package theft devices serve as a landing spot for packages, alerting the homeowner when a package is delivered, as well as when it’s removed from atop it. If a package is removed without authorization, a loud alarm sounds.
“We have not had a particularly bad rash of these crimes, but it’s always best to be on the defensive,” he said. “Taking steps to prevent thefts and burglaries helps all of us send a message that Murphy is not a welcoming place for criminals.”