WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. — In the year of the pandemic, the number of package thefts is off the charts. More than 370 packages have been reported stolen since January in Washington County, an increase of 33%.
There are several reasons for the increase, but mainly with more people at home ordering more things online, the opportunity to strike is even greater.
In 2017, there were 239 package thefts reported, 317 in 2018 and 247 last year.
This is the sixth year of the sheriff’s office’ bait package program, which uses a GPS tracker to alert deputies as soon as a package is moved. Authorities work with the United States Postal Service to determine hot spots for thefts, and then decoys are left in the open waiting for a crime of opportunity.
- If possible, consider installing a doorbell surveillance camera.
- Find an alternate package delivery location, such as an office or neighbor that is home.
- Sign up for tracking updates and alerts so you know when your package is delivered.
- Pick up your package as soon as possible (don’t let it sit out for days at a time).
- Purchase a secure “drop box” for your porch for packages to be placed in by carriers.