Package thieves strike in Port Washington Print
Daily News
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 19:12

Police have received several reports of boxes being taken from doorsteps

    With Black Friday and Cyber Monday recently passed, Port Washington police are warning residents of the dangers of having packages delivered to their doorsteps.
    Police have received eight reports of packages being stolen from the doorsteps of homes throughout the city since July — six of them since September — Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said.
    Those reports have come in from all corners of the city, he said — the west and north sides and downtown.
    “Nobody’s immune,” Hingiss said. “With Christmas coming up, obviously there’s going to be a lot more opportunities for thieves.”
    This spurt in package thefts is new in Port, he added.
    “Every once in a while we’ve had one, but this is a big jump for us, and we’re just getting into the season.”
    Hingiss offered some advice to residents ordering online or from a catalog.
    “If your workplace allows it, have it delivered to your office,” he said, or have the package delivered to a nearby store.
    “It’s not as convenient, but at least you’ll get your package,” Hingiss said.
    Residents should ask for a tracking number so they know when packages are being delivered, he said.
    “If you have a trusted neighbor, request a signature and have them sign for it,” he said. Or have the neighbor pick up the package from the doorstep.
    Residents can also request that packages not be left at the front door but somewhere less visible, perhaps at a side door that can’t be seen as well from the street, Hingiss said.
    And if neighbors see anything suspicious, Hingiss asked that they report it to police immediately. If possible, they should provide a description of the vehicle involved and a license plate number.
    “Don’t wait,” he said. “That makes it much easier for us to investigate. If it was an arranged delivery and everything’s on the up-and-up, we’ll figure it out.”
    Hingiss also warned that people need to remember to lock their vehicles and not keep valuables in them.
    On Nov. 19, police received three reports of incidents related to unlocked vehicles, he said.
    A 31-year-old woman reported that someone took an iPhone from her unlocked vehicle while it was parked on Milwaukee Street, he said. A 37-year old woman reported someone took the garage door opener from her unlocked vehicle on Pierre Lane and used it to get into the garage, where they stole $200 in frozen meat from a refrigerator.
    A 52-year-old man reported his work truck was taken from his home on Dodge Street, Hingiss said. The man had left the keys in the Ford pickup, which was unlocked.
    The vehicle and all the tools in it were recovered the next day in Milwaukee, Hingiss said.
    “We think all three incidents are connected,” he said, noting police used the iPhone to find one suspect.
    An 18-year-old man from Milwaukee has been arrested and a request for charges has been forwarded to the district attorney’s office, Hingiss said, adding officers still want to talk to several other suspects.
    “We need to stress the importance of keeping your things locked up,” he said. “I know people don’t like to do that, but it’s reality nowadays. You want to protect your home and loved ones.”Daily Press