Online shopping may be the safest method of purchasing gifts this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but shoppers should still take precautions to avoid theft by “Porch Pirates” with their online purchase deliveries.
The Wheaton Police Department recommends residents keep their deliveries safe by:
- Tracking your packages and having neighbors or relatives move your delivered packages indoors as soon as possible when not at home.
- Leaving special delivery instructions to have packages placed out of sight of potential thieves.
- Having a video doorbell to deter potential thieves.
If you experience a theft or suspect a theft has occurred, then you should:
- Confirm with the carrier that a package was delivered.
- Check video surveillance (doorbell or other) and confirm a package was delivered and stolen. Video evidence is always helpful, especially when it has the suspect, a vehicle, or a license plate to provide investigative leads.
- Call 9-1-1 to make a theft report.
If you are planning on holiday shopping in-person this season, please remember that there are still those who wish to ruin your holiday spirit by stealing from you. The Wheaton Police Department recommends you minimize your chances of being victimized by:
- Never leaving your purse or wallet unattended in a shopping cart, even when you're only a few feet away browsing. Thieves can be swift and only need a brief moment while you're distracted.
- Never leaving your gifts or purchases visible in your car. It is safer to lock the items in the trunk. Otherwise place the items in the footwell area and cover with something to hide them.
- Keeping an eye on your credit card. Store employees rarely need to leave the register or point of sale with your credit card. Even when a waiter or waitress takes your credit card the register is typically in public view. It only takes seconds to copy the credit card information or use a card reader to quickly swipe the card's magnetic strip.