Following up on our alert earlier today that there are package thieves at work in Altadena, we've received the following from Capt. John Benedict of the Altadena Sheriff Station:
To those who shared information about package thefts from porches occurring over the last few days, thank you for alerting your neighbors by posting the info on your neighborhood listserv.
If you haven't yet called the Sheriff's Station to report the thefts, please call and provide as much information as you can, including the name of the person or company that sent you the package, the name of the delivery company, the expected date of delivery, if tracking information was available that provides a time when the package was said to have been delivered, that information would also be very help. Please also provide information about the contents of the package and the cost of the merchandise.
Please call 626 798 1131 and ask to report the theft.
Having descriptive information can help us isolate patterns that may help us apprehend the thieves. Having information about the merchandise that was stolen can also help us connect thieves to specific criminal acts since they're often caught in possession of stolen merchandise.
It is a good time to ask everyone to consider other options for package delivery, including these:
- Have your packages delivered to a trusted neighbor who is more likely to be home when the delivery is expected.
- Consider having your packages delivered to the nearest UPS store if your packages are being delivered by United Parcel.
- If FedEx is delivering your packages, have them delivered to the nearest FedEx store for pickup.
- Webster's Fine Stationers has been advertising that you can have your packages delivered to their store at no additional cost to you.
- If you have a Post Office Box, you can sign an agreement with the US Postal Service to use their street address as your delivery address and your PO Box number as your "suite". They will notify you when packages for you have been received by the Post Office. (Ed. note: we've tried this, it didn't work as advertised)
- Some residents have posted information on the local listservs indicating that the UPS or FedEx delivery people toss packages over their gates and into the back yard so they are out of view.
These incidents of theft, with people following the delivery trucks and either picking up the packages from porches a few minutes later, or breaking the boxes open and stealing all or parts of the contents have become increasingly common around the holiday season. Thieves have discovered that your packages are easy pickings so we all need to consider ways to be less subject to being victims of these kinds of crimes.
Please stay vigilant. If you are expecting a package to be delivered, you can also let a trusted neighbor know about what time that package is expected to be delivered so they can keep an eye out for the delivery truck and can retrieve your packages to keep them safe for you.
These delivery companies have fairly regular delivery schedules. For those of you who are home in the afternoon, please be extra vigilant and watchful for the times of day that the trucks are in your neighborhood and watch for vehicles following them, a short distance back, or for vehicles waiting at the curb, then moving up a few houses and then stopping at the curb again.
If you see any suspicious activity like that, please call the Sheriff's Station as quickly as possible, and as long as you can do it safely, get as much descriptive information as you can about the type of vehicle, color, make/model, license plate info, and if you can, provide descriptive information about the person or persons in the vehicle - age, hair color, clothing description & color, distinguishing features - facial hair, tattoos, height, or anything else you think may help the deputies catch them.
Your calls can have an impact on crime and criminals. Please continue to partner to prevent crime.