Decatur Police issue alert about package thefts

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 6, 2013

Icon_PoliceThe Grinch is loose and he’s swiping packages from Decatur doorsteps, police say.

Decatur Police have issued an alert about a rash of package thefts in recent days. With the holiday season approaching and with more people ordering online, there’s plenty of opportunity.

The Police received the following reports:

– Tuesday, Dec. 3: Someone stole packages from the doorsteps of two units at Talley Street Lofts. The thieves stole two packages and left six others. One of the discarded packages had been opened, police said. The thefts are believed to have occurred between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

– Thursday, Dec. 5:  Someone stole packages from the doorstep a home in the 200 block of Lansdowne Avenue.  The thefts are believed to have occurred between 1:50 p.m. and 4 p.m.

– Thursday, Dec. 5: The Talley Street Lofts were targeted again. Someone stole a package from a resident’s doorstep and left two other packages. The thefts were believed to have occurred between 12 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (Editor’s note: I think there’s a pattern here.)

Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross said, “The stolen packages contained electronics, clothing, accessories and household items. All of the stolen packages were delivered by UPS.”

Ross provided the following tips to help people avoid becoming the Grinch’s next victim:

 – If possible, ship your packages to your work location or a location where you know someone will be there to receive the package such as the home of a friend or loved one who you know is home during the day.

– Request that a signature be required to deliver the package.

– Track your packages and ask a family member, friend or neighbor to look out and take the packages in when they arrive.

– If you live at a location that requires passcode or keycard entry, do not let people you do not know tag-a-long behind you and enter the property. If they are aggressive, do not confront them, call police immediately and provide a detailed description of the person, what they are wearing and where they were last seen.

– If you observe people you do not recognize on a neighbor’s property, pay attention and if it appears they are removing packages, call police immediately and provide the same descriptive information and also watch to see if the person goes back to a vehicle and provide a description of the vehicle and their direction of travel.

– Keep an eye out in your neighborhood for vehicles that appear to be following delivery trucks and stopping at locations where the delivery trucks just made a delivery.

– UPS offers an option to schedule your deliveries and receive an alert by voice, email or text message notifying you the day before your package will be delivered. You can then reroute or reschedule the delivery if you need to do so. Go to to check out this option.

– Another option is to have the package rerouted to a UPS Store. The store will hold the package until the consumer can go and pick it up. Consumers can always change the delivery address on or by calling 1-800-PICK-UPS. Consumers can also request “signature required service” and UPS drivers will not deliver the package until someone signs for it.

– If you are using a different shipping company, find out what options are available for a more secure delivery. Monitor and inventory your deliveries and don’t assume your packages were sent in separate shipments. In two of the three recent cases, some packages were stolen while some were left behind.

Thanks to Sgt. Ross for the heads up and the tips.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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