Central Patrol offers holiday theft prevention warnings

With the economy improving – and the lure of Christmas gift bargains – many Midtown homes and apartments are now filling up with expensive electronic items and jewelry.

But as James Schriever of Central Patrol reminds us,  criminals are doing their holiday shopping, too. “Their ‘shopping’ involves looking into vehicles to see if items of value are left in plain view or covered up as well as “shopping” curbside recycling bins looking for those who have received new electronic items and other items of value,” he said in an email.

Schriever says many are also looking in windows trying to spot large televisions that can be seen from the street. He warns Midtowners to remember leaving boxes for electronics on the curb is like posting a neon sign to attract thieves.

Here are some of his tips for a safer holiday season:

  • Use neighborhood recycling centers to drop off packaging for electronics or items of value and have a plan on where to mount that TV so it cannot be viewed from the street. Also use blinds and curtains to restrict the view from the street.
  • DO NOT place your electronic cartons/packaging in your neighbors recycling bend as to not bring attention to your house. This could cause your neighbor to be a victim of an unwanted crime.
  • Also with the growing popularity of purchasing items online, criminals are also “shopping” from porches and doorsteps. If you are ordering gifts, please ask for a tracking number from the shipping company so the package can be tracked. On its arrival date, please bring inside ASAP or make arrangements to have a trusted friend, neighbor or family member pick up the package.

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