This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
While everyone is busy trying to make a merry Christmas, criminals are targeting people, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting.
- At a time of year when people are ordering and sending a lot of gifts, these thieves AKA “porch pirates” are stealing delivery boxes sitting in front porches. Some even steal Christmas decorations.
- A teen was followed to a restaurant parking lot after he cashed his paycheck. The assailant shot and killed the young guy while trying to steal his money.
- Criminals dressed in brown posed as delivery carriers and pretended to need a signature for a delivery. When the resident opened the door they rushed in for a home invasion robbery.
- A woman with kids was shot while unloading groceries in her apartment parking lot. The suspects were after her purse and car. Her four year old daughter was killed.
- Even fast food restaurants are not safe. In our city alone, there have been reports of robbery attempts at Raising Cane and Wendy’s.
Don’t let your joy be stolen by taking a few precautions:
- Many apartment buildings have leasing offices that will accept deliveries; let them know you are expecting a package and pick up your items as soon as you get home.
- Check delivery times for expected packages. You can install an app on your phone to track deliveries. Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to retrieve your package.
- I know several people who have opted for post office boxes or neighborhood mailbox companies. Prices vary for mailbox sizes so shop carefully.
- Always lock all your packages in the trunk. Thieves walk around parking lots looking for cars with packages that are left on the seats in plain view.
- From reader Bob S.: Lock your car every time you are carrying something up to your apartment if you can’t get everything in one load. We had several incidences of people grabbing a bag or two from a car left standing wide open. People carrying groceries and now especially Christmas gifts will often leave the doors or trunk open – because they’ll be right back.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t walk and text or have a cell phone stuck to your ear.
- When driving or parking, be aware of what or who is around you. Check the rear view mirror periodically in case you are being followed.
- Don’t wear flashy jewelry or carry a large expensive purse when you are out and about – this will just attract unwanted attention.
- If you are paying cash, be discreet about it and keep your cash in your front pocket.
- Don’t announce to social media that you are planning big purchases, going out shopping or leaving for the holidays.
- Pay attention to the ATM machine that you are using. There have been several cases of ATMs being altered to capture passwords and account numbers. In all the cases, the ATM machine is described as slightly off or different from others.
- When arriving home, shut your garage door quickly before unloading any packages. You are still vulnerable in your driveway, as you start to let your guard down.
- At the gas station, lock your car at all times, even if you are just running in to pay for gas, or even if you are standing next to your car filling up the tank.
- Tear up all boxes especially big ticket items such as TVs and computers. Don’t just leave these boxes in the curb during trash pickup; this is advertising to thieves that you just unpacked some fresh loot.
Some people may say this is paranoia but I say it’s not being paranoid you if you really are being targeted. Christmas is a time of goodwill to all, but it is not the time to drop your guard. Pay attention to safety and security at all times.
© Apartment Prepper 2016
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