A handful of incidents involving the theft of stolen packages have been reported to Jacksonville Police over the past several weeks.
The perpetrators often wait for various delivery services to leave unattended packages on residential porches.
Lieutenant of Investigations Adam Mefford says similar incidents are typically reported every year.
“Each year we’ve had a few, never an epidemic but we’ll get five to ten a year. Some of them we solve, some of them we don’t. The main thing is for the home owner to try and protect themselves because we can’t be in one place all the time, but we do the best with out patrols,” says Mefford.
Mefford says while the department hears of thefts throughout the year, the incidents seem to become more prevalent as the holidays approach.
“It’s more noticeable during the holidays, but we do have a few during the year also. More of the ones during the year, I would say, are crimes of opportunity…someone walks by, sees it and takes the chance. In the holiday season, I think the thefts are more targeted because what might be inside, the reward might be a little better during the holiday season,” explains Mefford.
Mefford says there are a number of different ways to prevent your packages from being stolen.
“When they’re ordering online or they’re expecting a shipment, they can schedule a delivery time with the delivery service to ensure that they’re home. They could also schedule an alert to acknowledge when the package will be there and notify a neighbor or a friend or a loved one to be there. You could also have it sent to your workplace. So you can schedule the delivery location to where you know someone will actually be there,” says Mefford.
According to Mefford, the Police Department considers these as isolated incidents and has received reports from various locations within the city. Mefford says the number of reports is less than ten.
Mefford reminds citizens that if they’re aware of a crime in progress, call 9-1-1. But, if it is a crime that you find out about after the fact, contact the police department’s non-emergency line at 479-4630 and the information will be passed on to the investigation department.