Norwich PD: 8 tips to protect that package and your home from holiday wrongdoers

Submitted a month ago
Created by
Mark Travis

There have been no reports of package-from-porch thefts or away-on-holiday-vacation burglaries in Norwich so far this season, and the police department would like to keep it that way. 

Sgt. Jennifer Frank said the police have a few recommendations for residents when it comes to ...

Protecting Your Packages

“There have been places, not here in Norwich, but in other areas, where people have followed behind a UPS or a FedEx delivery just to track all the different places,” she said, “and then went back later.”

One line of defense, she said, is right next door. “We always encourage people if they know they have a package coming to work with some neighbors to figure out different places to secure that package in the interim,” she said.

Other options:

-- If you have the option, request that the package be delivered to less visible spot such as a back or front porch.

-- Request that the package be delivered at time of day when you know you’ll be home.

-- Use package tracking to monitor for delivery -- or go even higher-tech. “You can go down to Walmart and get a camera,” she said. “For a pretty nominal fee you could actually see when the package is delivered or someone just shows up at your door.”

Protecting Your Home While You’re Away

Burglars typically don’t stalk a particular home. “They look for the easy in and easy out approach,” Frank said -- driving around and looking for telltale signs of an unoccupied home.

First of all, she said, ask the post office to hold your mail -- “so that you don’t have mailboxes that are overflowing with all your holiday cards and your typical Christmas and other announcements.”

You can also ask a neighbor to simply pull into your driveway once or twice a week. “Just seeing fresh car tracks in the snow will give an indication that somebody is staying at the residence.”

The police do residential home checks too. “The police department will actually come and check your house while you’re away,” she said, “and make sure that doors are secured, the building appears safe.” That can help guard not just against burglary, but damage caused by frozen pipes or other home disasters.

Finally, she said, if you’re dropping off a holiday cake or some other goodie and find the recipient isn’t home, don’t leave a visible sign that may tip a burglar -- such as a “sorry I missed you” note on the door.

“The problem with that is if that note stays there for one, two or three days, that’s an indication to everybody else that that’s not a home that’s being readily visited,” Frank said. “It’s almost sending a calling card for a burglar which could invite somebody into your residence.”
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