PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2022) — Thieves steal packages from doorsteps throughout the year, but with the uptick in holiday package deliveries after Thanksgiving, reports of the crime double.
Officer Michael Mancini with the Presidio of Monterey Police Department said there are several steps residents can take to prevent stolen packages and other holiday-related crimes.
For example, at the point of purchase, residents can often provide delivery drivers with instructions about where to place a package, said Mancini, who has 28 years of law enforcement experience. Drivers could place the package behind a bush or other obstruction — anywhere but in plain sight.
Also, security cameras on or near front doors can provide evidence for police to catch a thief and alert a resident to a person at their door and allow them to speak to them remotely via cell phone, Mancini said. The person at the door, however, will not know someone is not home.
The more residents on a block who have door cameras, Mancini said, the better chances police will be able to see evidence such as a license plate.
Residents can also track their packages and try to be home to receive items. Another tip is to coordinate with neighbors to accept packages or remove them for later pick-up.
In addition, the Presidio of Monterey Police Department offers free housing checks twice a day to residents of The Parks at Monterey Bay homes. The Parks is the Army’s partner for military housing on the Monterey Peninsula. To request a housing check, residents must visit the department’s lobby at 4468 Gigling Road, Ord Military Community.
Mancini said it’s also important for residents to keep in mind that the military installations of Ord Military Community and La Mesa Village are open posts, and they do not have the same degree of security as the closed posts residents might have lived on previously. With this in mind, residents should keep items such as bikes and toys out of plain sight on their lawns and porches. In a similar vein, residents should not leave items in plain view in their vehicles at any time.
Also, although the recreational vehicle storage lots at Ord Military Community contain security measures such as fencing, cameras and barbed wire, it is still a good idea for owners to check on their vehicles periodically — once a week if possible — in case of a break-in, Mancini said.
Other holiday-related tips include designating a driver when attending holiday parties and keeping potentially poisonous plants such as mistletoe and holly berries away from children.
To prevent fires, people should place live Christmas trees at least three feet away from heaters; buy artificial trees labeled “fire resistant;” and only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors. It’s also critical to shut off holiday lights and extinguish candles before bedtime.
Residents who see anything suspicious in their neighborhood should report it to the police department right away at (831) 242-7851. Prompt reporting helps police respond more effectively. In case of emergency, call 911.
Also, for those strongly motivated to prevent crime, the Presidio of Monterey is hiring police officers. Interested candidates can find the job notice at www.usajobs.gov/job/686754400. The notice is open through Nov. 16.