The Princeton Police Department is encouraging residents to stay vigilant as holiday shopping intensifies these last days before Christmas.
“Porch Pirates” become a worry for many people this time of year as thieves help themselves to packages dropped on doorsteps. A security camera system does help, and many people have Ring doorbells which can catch criminals in action.
If you don’t have security cameras, other precautionary measures to take include shipping packages to the workplace, tracking shipments, requesting a signature at delivery, or having a neighbor pick it up when it arrives.
“During the holiday season, many of us are ordering items online and having those items delivered to our home,” Police Chief Mark Moyles reported. “Unfortunately, many people are aware of this and are stealing packages off our porches.”
Additional steps can be taken to ensure criminals don’t see what you received. Once a delivered item is safely inside, don’t leave the telltale packaging outside; instead, recycle the packaging or bundle it in a way that blocks what was in it.
Online shopping can be risky as well. Credit is safer to use than debit, and when shopping, make sure the website is secure and you’re not on a public WiFi account. If you’re unsure about the company, do some research to validate its authenticity.
When out and about, save all receipts, carry purses and packages close to your body, and never leave packages visible in a vehicle. Wait until the cashier asks for payment to take out your cash or credit card.
As this year’s last minute shopping crunch time arrives, follow this simple advice from Princeton PD. Stay vigilant, and hopefully everyone will have a safe and theft-free holiday season.
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