Tips to avoid package theft and burglaries during the Holiday season

Package thieves steal a freshly-delivered parcel in Ukrainian Village in November 2023. | Provided

CHICAGO — “Our neighbors were literally outside when it was delivered,” the Ukrainian Village resident told us yesterday. “It was a delivery of a large, expensive suitcase that was nabbed 10 minutes after delivery.”

“It would be great to get all the Ring videos from these brazen individuals and get their pathetic faces out there for their family members to see,’ she continued.

That sounded like a great idea, so we stole it (so to speak). Here’s a compilation of recent Chicago porch pirate postings from Ring’s neighbor’s network. The first clip came from our Ukrainian Village reader. It shows her boxed suitcase being spirited away.

Music: Deck the Halls (Jazz Version), Alex-Productions, via Free Music Archive Creative Commons

Online shopping is a convenience for shoppers and thieves. Among the steps the police recommend taking to avoid having your packages stolen are:

  • Require a signature upon receipt
  • Use Amazon lockers or Amazon storefront pickup options
  • Schedule delivery for a day that you know you will be home
  • Have the package delivered to your work address or to the courier’s pick-up station rather than your home.
  • Never buzz anyone into your building unless you know exactly who they are.
  • Never let anyone follow you into your building unless you know exactly who they are.

Some package thieves operate by following courier trucks around and immediately stealing packages upon drop-off. The longer your packages sit, the more likely they are to be taken.

While we’re on the topic, burglarizing homes is particularly popular during the holidays because criminals know many homes will have valuable, easy-to-locate gifts inside. Suggestions:

  • We’re all jealous of your decked-out Christmas tree. But it may be a good idea to close the curtains and avoid showing off. Piles of packages may be tempting for our town’s sticky-fingered set. They may conclude that if you can afford to spend a lot of money on a tree, you also spend money on other expensive items.
  • Always lock your doors and windows—even if you’re on the second floor.
  • If you live in a single-family home or small flat, ensure that the front and back areas are shoveled after snow falls. The lack of footprints in the snow tells burglars that the home is probably not occupied.
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