Holiday safety advice

Community Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began in March and folks increased their online shopping, porch pirates have been a problem.

    The holiday season means even more deliveries by UPS, FedEx, Amazon and the United States Postal Service.

     And once those trucks pull away from your home, your purchases are vulnerable to theft.

     “Coordinate with neighbors so you’re all working together as a community,” Miami-Dade Police Maj. Javier Ruiz said. “Keep an eye out for each other.”

     The good news is that residential burglaries are down 64% compared to 2019, Ruiz reported.

     There were 25 home burglaries from Jan. 1, 2019 – Nov. 2, 2019, and 9 this year for that time period.

     Larcenies are down 57%, with 111 reported in the first 10 months of 2019 and 48 so far this year.    

    Ruiz said a “very small percentage of the larcenies are package thefts. A lot of those larcenies are shoplifting or stolen cell phones or thefts from businesses.”    

     To protect your property, ask a neighbor to pick up your packages if you’re away or at work.

     You can also try to schedule deliveries for when someone will be at home.

     Or if you’re not working from home, have items shipped to your place of business.

     Cars are also targeted by thieves.

      Keep packages out of sight in a locked trunk while shopping and take them inside your home when you get there.

     Normally during the holiday season, Ruiz said officers patrol at shopping centers.

     “This year we may concentrate more in the communities to prevent package theft,” Ruiz said.

--Linda Trischitta

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