November 19, 2018
Shopping season requires steps to prevent burglaries
MURPHY (November 19, 2018) The annual shopping season has begun and, unfortunately, the season also means that thefts and burglaries can also see an upward spike. There are a few steps, though, that can help prevent residents from being victimized.
“If you’re planning a day of shopping, bring a blanket to cover your bags while you’re away from the car and keep the receipts with you,” advises Murphy Police Chief Arthur “Trey” Cotten. “The blanket puts some doubt in the minds of thieves and can remove the temptation to break into your car. Your receipts will be necessary, of course, if your car gets broken into.”
For deliveries, a safe alternative is to have items delivered to the office or workplace instead of being left on the home’s porch. For apartment dwellers, deliveries can be left at the leasing office. “Always check to see if your boss or your landlord approves this before doing so,” said the Chief.
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.
Rather than have packages delivered, it may be better to pick them up. The US Postal Service allows package recipients to pick up their goods at the post office and now also allows people to pick up deliveries at secure Go Post locations, which offer secure and automated self-service lockers located near grocery stores, shopping centers, or other busy places. Amazon offers self-service lockers in which people can pick up their deliveries. The lockers are located in many major cities at hundreds of locations.
“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.”