Crime

Stores aren’t the only ones starting the holiday season early. Package thieves are, too

Package thief frightened off by Florida homeowner’s voice

A suspect was just about to steal a package off a front porch in Lakeland, Florida but got spooked when he heard the homeowner’s voice coming through the security system.
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A suspect was just about to steal a package off a front porch in Lakeland, Florida but got spooked when he heard the homeowner’s voice coming through the security system.

The holidays are approaching, which means South Sound Crime Stoppers and local law enforcement are once again reminding residents to safeguard their gifts and packages.

In other words, don’t leave newly purchased items in your vehicle, and if you’re expecting a delivery at home, be there when the package arrives.

Officials with Olympia and Lacey police say they see an increase in vehicle prowls and thefts before the holidays and more after Black Friday boosts the holiday shopping season into high gear. Black Friday — so named because retailers typically are in the “black” after a wave of consumer spending — is the day after Thanksgiving.

“Get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood,” said Olympia police Lt. Paul Lower about steps residents can take to prevent package thefts.

He also urged residents to sign up for a weekly newsletter produced by Olympia Community Programs Officer Amy Stull. It includes crime data and trends, including maps of where crimes have occurred, he said, as well as community information about downtown events, such as the Christmas parade, Toy Run and Lakefair.

Residents can sign up for the newsletter online, or find it on the city of Olympia website under “community programs.”

Lacey Detective Jon Mason suggested that to prevent package theft, packages could be sent to an alternative address, or residents could invest in home security technology. Like Lower, he recommends that residents get to know their neighbors so people can keep an eye out for each other.

Anyone who witnesses such package thefts or car prowls can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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