Package Thefts in Dallas and Fort Worth: How to Catch a Thief July 13th, 2015
While you normally think of home security as the protection of the inside of your home, there are also opportunities to be the victim of theft just outside of your front door. Some thieves skip the trouble of breaking into your home and opt to target mail and package deliveries left on your front porch.
Package thieves in Dallas and in Fort Worth were hard at work in the holiday season of 2014. Then early 2015 saw a wave of the related crime of outgoing mail theft when thieves were digging through residential mailboxes to find checks to launder. Another worry with outgoing mail – particularly during the tax season – many people send out documents with sensitive personal information that can be used in identity theft.
And just this summer, some North Texas residents saw yet another rash of packages being stolen from front porches, specifically in Mansfield.
So how do you stop a porch package thief? Once the box is sitting on your front stoop, you’ve already lost several opportunities to protect yourself. The key is preventing high-value items from sitting for hours on your front porch in the first place.
Package Theft Prevention Tips
Pick up your package QUICKLY. Luckily, modern technology has brought us package tracking tools that make it easier than ever to find out when we’re getting deliveries. So be sure to check up on shipped items and retrieve them as soon as you can.
Customize deliveries. Some private package delivery services will allow you to schedule a time and date when you will be available to retrieve your items quickly.
Require a signature. Depending on the service, the sender OR the recipient may be able to request that a signature is obtained upon delivery.
Receive deliveries at a different location. If you work at a location with a mailing address, you can probably get your packages delivered to your workplace. (Check with your boss first, just in case.) If work isn’t an option, consider sending to a trusted neighbor, family member, or a storefront location of the delivery company.
Request a vacation hold. US Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS all hold package deliveries while you’re out of town for a few days. This is a good option for people who receive a significant amount of shipments, or those who have a wedding registry and may have multiple gifts sent to their home unexpectedly while they’re gone for the weekend.
Install security cameras near the front door. If visible, the presence of a camera can be enough to scare off potential thieves from approaching your home. Surveillance cameras connected with your home security system can record video of the exterior of your home that can be retrieved and given to police in case of a theft. Aside from mitigating package theft, cameras like the SkyBell video doorbell which allows you to peek at who’s at your front door anytime you like with their smartphone app.
Crimes Caught on Video
One Fortress Security customer, Tim, lives in the Mansfield neighborhood that experienced a series of thefts earlier this year. Security cameras outside of his home caught footage of the thief in action and aided police in their investigation.
Tim’s certainly glad he had those cameras in place. Even though his home had never been the target of theft or other crimes in the past, he was fully prepared. And he feels secure with a Fortress system protecting his home: “I would recommend Fortress to anyone. Everyone there has been top notch at helping me with my unique needs.”
If you’re interested in learning more about home security camera systems, get in touch with us, and we’ll develop a free quote, customized to fit your needs.
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