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Burglars targeting home package shipments

December 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Authorities say it's an alarming crime trend: thieves stalking trucks as they make their deliveries, then stealing packages when the recipients aren't home.Here they come, hundreds of thousands of Christmas presents being shipped all over the country, and right to your door. Unfortunately those packages can become targets for thieves.

"Everything gone, I mean from about four different companies and some from eBay that couldn't be replaced," said online shopper Christina Hawes.

Christina Hawes has been hesitant to have things delivered to her home after thieves stole all her Christmas presents two years ago.

"Right on my front door. And that's the scary thing, that someone came here and followed the guy. And it's quite amazing in this apartment complex. So they were intent on getting the goodies," said Hawes.

She says the delivery driver told her he had noticed a van following him for part of his route, and she believes the thieves saw no one was home and simply took all the packages.

"I walked down the street the other day and I saw four houses in a row, with UPS trucks stopped. Knocked on the door, dropped packages and they're left on the door and I know on those four houses now that no one is home," said Glendale Police Dept. Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

Cyber Monday many of us placed online orders. And those packages are about to arrive at our homes in the next few days. Glendale police say as it's just one more thing thieves do during the holidays. Unattended packages can lead to more serious crimes.

"You already know no one is home so not only are you going to get the package, if the doors not locked, if they can make their way to the back door or get in through the window, they're going to commit a burglary," said Sgt. Lorenz.

Meanwhile Christina Hawes is ordering more things for this holiday season, but she is being more cautious.

"Know your delivery person, to talk to your neighbors, to leave notes, make arrangements to have someone there, or even put a note that it's OK, this neighbor is fine to leave a package with, please get a signature," said Hawes.

That's some good advice, and Glendale police say this year with the economy in bad shape, they've seen an increase in break-ins and burglaries compared to last year. So definitely be careful, whether shopping in a mall or online.


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