WAYLAND, MA — The Christmas season is underway and while that brings cheer for many, it’s also a time to be cautious.
The Wayland Police Department released the following tips for to avoid package theft:
As the holiday season approaches and gifts begin to be shipped and delivered, Acting Chief Ed Burman and the Wayland Police Department would like to provide tips to help community members prevent package theft.
According to the National Neighborhood Watch, nearly 19% of Americans have had at least one package stolen in the past 12 months.
Residents may consider the following tips to help protect their packages from theft:
- Consider getting a P.O. box at your local post office or having packages delivered to your workplace. Some delivery services also offer pickup locations.
- Set up app alerts, email notifications or text messages to track your packages. The United States Postal Service offers an “Informed Delivery” service, which sends a daily email with a picture/scan of the mail you will receive that day. To sign up, click here.
- Leave specific dropoff instructions for where a package should be left on your property.
- Ask a neighbor to grab your packages for safekeeping until you return home.
- Require a signature upon delivery to ensure packages are never left unattended.
- Reschedule delivery or ask for a package hold when on vacation.
- Install a security camera or video doorbell in the area(s) outside your home where packages may be delivered. Making your cameras visible or known may help deter thieves.
- Research potential home security technology and locking device options to protect and monitor packages.
- If you believe you have fallen victim to package theft:
- Confirm with the delivery company that the package was actually delivered.
- Identify which package was stolen and know what contents are missing.
- Contact the police immediately and report your package as stolen. If you have a security camera on your home, be prepared to give a copy of the video to the police.
- Report the package theft to the applicable carrier and/or retailer:
- United States Postal Service
If you witness a package theft, do not approach the suspect. Instead, pay attention to what their vehicle looks like and its license plate number. If possible, get a physical description of the suspect to share with police.
Residents should also note that some delivery services contract independent carriers to help deliver items during the peak holiday season. These independent carriers may drive their own vehicles without affiliation markers. Residents should be mindful of these individuals who could be mistaken as thieves when dropping off packages on behalf of carriers or delivery companies.