Holiday shopping online is in full swing, but so is holiday theft on doorsteps. In Round Rock, police earlier this month launched Operation Front Porch, which allows residents to have packages delivered to police headquarters for safe-keeping. In return, residents are asked to donate to the police Blue Santa toy drive when they pick up their packages. For Austin residents, police recommend these tips for home delivery:
1. Require a signature: That way the package won’t be left unattended on your doorstep. Thieves often will follow delivery trucks on their routes and wait for a package to be left unattended.
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2. Get packages at work: If you know you won’t be at home in time for deliveries, see if your workplace will allow you to have your purchases delivered there. But if home delivery is your only option, leave instructions for the delivery service to place the package somewhere out of view from the street.
3. Get delivery alerts: Then have a trusted neighbor retrieve the delivered package and keep it for you. Most delivery services also allow you to change the drop-off to when you’ll be home, or allow you to pick up packages at their offices.
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4. Call police for help: If you think a Grinch has stolen a package, confirm the package was delivered and then file a report with police.
5. Help your neighbors: Call 911 immediately if you see suspicious activity and be sure to get an accurate description of the activity, vehicle or person.