Avoid the Grinch: Issaquah police offers tips to prevent holiday package theft

Protect yourself from a holiday Grinch, and keep your holiday purchases safe by taking steps to prevent package theft.

During the holiday season, Issaquah police see more package thefts. Many of the incidents are crimes of opportunity that occur when a thief sees an easy target that can be quickly taken without notice.

To help deter package theft, the department has partnered with Ring to loan video doorbells to homes in high-target areas. The device streams audio and video of a home’s front doorstep directly to a smartphone or tablet, allowing residents to see if something is happening outside the front door.

As part of the pilot program, residents — rather than police — monitor the devices’ audio and video. Police have asked residents to share footage if the device captures illegal activity.

Interested? Contact Community Resource Officer Ryan Smith via email or at 425-837-3208.

Safety tips

You can take the following steps to protect yourself from package theft during the holiday season and all year:

Ship your package to a location where someone you know will be available to receive it, such as your workplace or the home of a relative, neighbor or friend. Some shipping companies will allow you to choose a preferred time and date, or to change a delivery location when the package is en route.

Require a signature for your deliveries.

Track your package, and request email or text alerts about its delivery status.

Consider using other delivery options that are available. Many retailers and shipping companies may deliver to other secured locations, including lockers, or allow you to pick up your package at a retail store or package center.

If no other option is available, provide specific instructions about where the package should be left on your property. Choose a location that conceals the item, so it can’t be seen by people walking or driving in your neighborhood.

If you’re going on vacation, place deliveries on hold until you return home.

If you frequently receive deliveries to your residence, consider purchasing a locking parcel delivery box that can be secured.

Be a good neighbor — be alert. If you see a package being stolen from your neighbor’s home, call 911. To report suspicious activity, call the Issaquah Police Department’s non-emergency line at 425-837-3200.

If a package is stolen, file a police report and contact the shipper immediately. Call the Issaquah Police Department’s non-emergency line at 425-837-3200.