CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Black Friday will be here before we know it, kicking off the official start of the holiday shopping season. As holiday shopping moves away from the storefronts and toward online shopping, criminals are catching on. This time of year, we hear several reports of packages stolen off of doorsteps.
There are some things you can do to protect your deliveries from doorstep thieves. The first one police recommend is a doorbell and motion-activated camera.
North Charleston Crime Prevention Officer Kyle Jamison says, “A lot of times your major package delivery companies will ring your doorbell and it alerts you, you know hey your package is there, but also, because a lot of the motion detection software will alert you if someone else is on your doorstep trying to steal your packages. It lets you know immediately and you can immediately call police that the crime is happening in progress.”
Officers say these thieves will usually target a neighborhood and steal multiple packages at a time. Giving police immediate information and an image of the suspect can help protect your neighbors too.
Officer Jamison says, “Something like a camera device will give us good descriptions of the suspect’s height, age, weight, race, gender, things like that, what their clothing description is, gives information to target someone pretty quickly to find where your package is.”
Another way to protect your orders, send them to your office or a friend’s house who you know will be home during the day.
You may also purchase gifts from Craigslist or a Facebook swap page.
Officer Jamison says, “Too good to be true, should raise your alert level.”
If you are buying a product from a stranger, do not meet them at your home. Instead, ask to meet at a police station with a Safe Exchange Zone.
Officer Jamison says, “Those areas have cameras in them. If they don’t want to meet in a public place or they especially don’t want to meet at a police department, then maybe move onto the next one where you can find more opportunities.”
Online exchange zones are located at:
- North Charleston City Hall – 2500 City Hall Lane
- North Charleston Police Department South Bureau- 3401 Rivers Ave
- North Charleston Police Department North Bureau- 7272 Cross County
- Mount Pleasant Police Department- 100 Ann Edwards Lane, Mt. Pleasant