Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Easy Pickins

The holidays are upon and so, too, are the crooks who will try anything to get your precious purchases. You often hear from us, and many other media outlets, about the different ways thieves will try to separate you from your hard-earned cash and property, but perhaps the easiest method is sitting outside on your front porch right now.

As more people go online for deals and hassle free shopping, the number of packages being left on doorsteps is increasing exponentially as we get closer to the holidays. Thieves are aware of this, also, and often steal packages right after the delivery person has left.

Since many of us are not home at the time of delivery, we prefer the item to be left on the doorstep instead of having to go pick it up or sign for it.

Here in Overland Park, we've had two recent events that we want to bring to your attention. The first occurred on December 2nd during the evening hours. The victim told police she heard someone knocking softly on the front door, but she chose not to answer it. A short time later, the victim noticed a package was missing that had been delivered earlier.  

The second event happened yesterday around noon. The victim in this case was at home and had heard a package being delivered earlier in the day, but hadn't gone out to retrieve it yet. A short time later, she heard her dog barking near the front door. When she looked out the window, she observed someone taking her package from the front porch. 

Our victim ran out the door to confront the subject who said something about having the wrong address. He threw her package into the back of his vehicle, which he had conveniently backed into her driveway.  As he quickly pulled away with the rear door still open, the victim grabbed the package and pulled it from the vehicle as it started forward.  

The victim described the suspect as a black male with short hair, about 5`08" with a thin build, possibly in his 20`s.  He was wearing baggy blue jeans and an unknown colored sweatshirt. The suspect’s vehicle was described as a white SUV, possibly a Jeep Cherokee.  

In order to reduce the opportunity for thieves to steal your parcels, UPS and FedEx suggest that you request a signature before the package can be released to anyone. You can also have your packages delivered to your place of work, or dropped off at a trusted neighbor’s home.

FedEx rolled out a program this year called "Delivery Manager" which allows customers to decide when and where packages will be delivered. UPS also has an option that allows customers to go online and release packages requiring a signature. Both services are free.