Police warn of holiday package delivery thefts

By: Melissa Randall

mrandall@abc6.com

@MRandallABC6

Thanksgiving weekend, mainly Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping and on–line ordering rush. That also means opportunistic thieves will soon have more chances to strike.

This is not a new problem. Sadly it happens each and every year in various communities across Rhode Island. But there are some things shoppers can do to try and outsmart the thieves, and help protect packages from being stolen right off their porches.

"When they make that initial purchase they should request a signature upon delivery. That way the delivery company will not leave that package unless there is a resident home," explained Capt. Michael Lemoine of the Woonsocket Police Department.

Lemoine says other good ideas include having the package delivered to the buyer at work or having a neighbor keep an eye out for the truck and take taking the delivery inside for safe keeping.

But it’s not just homes that are being targeted this holiday season. People should also be vigilant when out at the malls and other shopping centers.

"Those packages should be hidden out of sight, possibly locked in a trunk because individuals are also looking around a parking lot for packages that are in the open and very quickly will break a window and make off with those packages,” said Lemoine.

And it’s already happening. That very scenario playing out in Woonsocket just this week. Someone visiting from out of state was robbed of their holiday gifts left in their vehicle overnight.

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