As residents begin their holiday shopping, Chief Scott Allen and the East Bridgewater Police Department urge residents to use caution when scheduling deliveries to prevent doorstep theft.
A recent report indicates that online holiday shopping will rise nearly 15 percent this year, and a consumer survey indicates that a staggering 80 percent of Americans will scour Amazon for gifts this year.
“We want our residents to have a festive holiday season that is not ruined by theft,” Chief Allen said. “Please remember to send your online orders to a secure location to avoid someone taking unattended packages left for you while you’re away.”
To best ensure that your packages are not stolen, the East Bridgewater Police Department recommends the following tips:
- Request notifications on your deliveries, via phone or email, to monitor your packages in transit and upon delivery.
- Always require a signature on your deliveries to ensure packages are never left unattended.
- Consider sending deliveries to an alternate location where someone will be able to receive them – whether that be a workplace, a neighbor or friend’s house, or a FedEx or UPS location.
- Schedule your delivery for a specific date and time that you’re expected to be home.
- Set up a vacation hold if you plan on traveling during the holidays so gifts won’t be left on the doorstep.
- Be aware of “tailgating,” which refers to the people who follow delivery vehicles and steal the packages after they are dropped off.
- If you find your package has been stolen, call the police immediately.
- Never accept a surprise delivery where a payment is required, and never give out personal information when receiving a delivery that you purchased.
- Do not leave packages out in the open in your vehicle. Always lock your vehicle and store all the items out of sight. Bring in all items once you’ve arrived home — do not leave them in your car overnight.
Additionally, the East Bridgewater Police Department has set up a Safe Exchange Zone in the police station parking lot. The marked area is designed to facilitate a safe, secure and public meeting place for people to meet and complete online transactions on websites like Craigslist.
The station is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and covered by security cameras.
The men and women of the East Bridgewater Police Department wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!