Keep the Grinch away, tips to avoid package delivery theft

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

PARAGOULD/JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Law enforcement agencies told Region 8 News Friday residents should be on the lookout for criminals this holiday season. According to Paragould Police, two burglaries have happened in Jonesboro and Bono in recent days. Police said items were stolen from front porches after package delivery trucks left. Police said it's an open invitation to criminals.

"This time of the year, your professional criminals are out there, it's a crime of opportunity," said Detective Mike Tinnin. "They'll follow the trucks around. No one comes out to pick up the package. Hey, no one is home. I'm going to go get that package and they can make a killing every day."

Tinnin said he's spoken with several package carriers in recent weeks. He said there are two primary ways to keep packages safe.

"The thefts and the burglaries always go up this time of the year. It's just something that we see year after year," said Tinnin.

"The best thing a person could do is just to let the carrier leave a notice and then come here to the Post Office and pick up their item," said Rob Driskell with the United States Postal Service.

Driskell said another option would be to have the item shipped to your workplace.

"They're not going to leave it on the doorstep of a workplace so they deliver it or come back when it's open," said Tinnin.

Driskell said if a person becomes a victim of crime, they need to file a police report. If the theft involved high-dollar merchandise, carriers will oftentimes send inspectors.

There are other ways to get your package safely if you can't have it delivered to work or sign for it.

"If you know your driver, just say, hey Tom, hey Bill, whoever, when you deliver it, I've got a nice cubby hole right here. Let's put it in there that way no one is going to see it," said Tinnin.

"If you want your carrier to perform a specific drop at a specific place, they'll do it. Most of them, even if you told them to take it to your neighbor, that they'll be home, they're going to do that also. The mailman that was your mailman was your dads' mailman. He's there every day and he's there to help," said Driskell. "I know there are people that follow the mailman around and look for just those type things."

Driskell said carriers also offer insurance. The cost of insurance depends on the value of the shipped item.

"Your mailman and everybody's mailman that's out there on the street today s more willing to do anything they can to help their customer. They know their customer. They know how many children they have. They know how many pets they have," said Driskell. "It's a common occurrence in the bigger cities for theft of mail, luckily Jonesboro is still a small town atmosphere and it's one of the things we haven't' really had to worry about here."

"Go get the signature required. That makes sure that you're going to have to sign for it. No one else is going to be able to get it or have it delivered to your workplace," said Tinnin.

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