Packages left unattended on the front porch are an easy target for thieves. As the holiday season approaches and the numbers of gifts purchased online and packages sent in the mail rise, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is advising residents to take steps to avoid the theft of delivered items.
“Unfortunately, this type of crime rises during the holiday season,” Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman said. “We are asking residents take a few steps to combat this type of theft and we are asking you to immediately report any suspicious activity in your community.”
There have been a couple instances of packages going missing recently, Sergeant Dale Spurlock said, and he wouldn’t be surprised to see more in the coming weeks now that Cyber Monday has passed and many people take advantage of the online sales to get holiday shopping done.
“It’s a bright target, especially since so many people work out of the area. If a package is delivered in the morning, that’s a big window of time if they don’t get home until 4 or 5 p.m.,” Spurlock said.
The LCSO recommends these steps:
- If possible, make arrangements to pick-up packages at a package store or postal service facility. Or, instead of having an online order delivered to your home, if the store has a physical location, ship it to the store and pick it up from there.
- If the items must be delivered, ask that packages be left on a back porch or set beside the front porch. This prevents the packages from being visible from the roadway.
- Request a specific delivery time.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to watch for the delivery and have them take it into their house until you get home.
- Use free package tracking options when placing an order to know when the package was delivered and make arrangements to have it picked up or brought inside immediately. This also helps to confirm that a delivered package is now missing.
- Follow up with the carrier immediately if an expected package does not arrive as scheduled.