HONOLULU (KHON2) — Package deliveries have increased since the pandemic. The U.S. Postal Service says the volume of packages they’ve processed and delivered is the equivalent of an 8-month-long Christmas rush. So how can you protect yourself from thieves eyeing your packages this holiday season?
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service tells us while they feel mail in Hawaii is safe compared to other areas on the West coast of the mainland, they do receive complaints of package theft across the state fairly regularly.
“We do tend to receive more complaints during the holiday season, and we attribute that to the increased volume,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Brian Shaughnessy.
In a time when many are shopping online because of the pandemic, how can you avoid falling prey to porch pirates? Shaughnessy suggests:
-signing up for real-time tracking and retrieving your mail as soon as possible;
-consider having important packages sent to your workplace or a neighbor’s house if they’ll be home;
-and if you’re going to be traveling…you can have your mail held at the post office for up to a month.
Surveillance cameras can be a deterrent and help with investigations.
“Doorbell cameras certainly help us and they have helped us in our investigation, and timely reporting helps us build our intelligence and our cases,” Shaughnessy said.
If you were to venture out of your home to shop this season, there are ways to protect yourself. Sgt. Chris Kim of Crimestoppers Honolulu tells us before you even start shopping, you should check your vehicle for any empty boxes or bags so thieves don’t think there’s something of value. Once you get to the store or mall you should:
-park in well-traveled and lit areas;
-use debit or credit cards instead of carrying large amounts of cash;
-keep your belongings where you can see them and don’t leave shopping bags in the car;
-try to avoid shopping alone;
-and pay attention to your surroundings but don’t draw unwanted attention to yourself.
“When you’re out shopping, these are criminals they’re looking they’re they’re paying attention to see who has their guards down, you know, who’s carrying that expensive bag that may have a lot of money in their arm. They tend to stereotype,” Sgt. Kim said. “People are struggling to make ends meet, but they need to realize that criminals also struggle to make ends meet, and they’re going to jump at every opportunity that they have.”
We’re told statistically the crime rate is down from last year but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down which people tend to do during the holidays.
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