As much as this time of year brings cheer to those near and far, we can’t help but be aware of the Grinches lurking around trying to spoil the fun for everyone. Thieves often capitalize on the generosity of others in the winter months by taking property that is not rightfully theirs. With the ease and convenience of delivery these days, package theft is becoming more and more of a problem in neighborhoods all across the city. While there is not a sure-fire way to avoid being the victim of a seasonal crime, there are definitely precautions that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of being targeted.

While it is tradition to keep gifts hidden from children to keep the believing spirit alive, it is also recommended to keep boxes and any wrapped presents out of sight from would-be burglars. Placing your tree in front of a window may impress your neighbors but you will be far from impressed if the gifts underneath are seen by someone looking to make them their own.

If you haven’t been the victim of package theft, I’m sure you know someone who has. This increasingly popular method of thievery runs rampant during the holiday season. The best way to avoid it is to have packages delivered to places that have an actual human there to sign for it. If this is not feasible, an alternative is to invest in a doorbell camera or some alternate method of front door surveillance. A number of products are on the market that will actually allow you to speak through the camera which can scare off would-be intruders or simply to communicate with the driver to suggest a less exposed location to leave the goods.

If your Holiday plans include travel, be sure to have your home set up for success in your absence. While social media is a great platform to share photos and stories about gatherings, it is also a place where people can figure out your travel itinerary, making your house their next target. It is always a good idea to notify trustworthy neighbors that you are leaving town so they can keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary taking place. Changing the lights to make your place look occupied can be done remotely these days which can also save some money that may otherwise go to pay a house sitter for their time.

Once the excitement of the season has come to an end, make sure you are still employing precaution regarding home security. Never put boxes for high dollar items on the curb for garbage pickup, as this shows exactly what is in your home and available for the taking.

While nothing is fool-proof, and there are always going to be scrooges in our midst, taking a few extra precautions around the Holiday season will help you to rest easier and focus on the joy of giving, not the threat of the taking.

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