Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer released video messages Friday in English and Spanish to warn people of holiday package theft during the COVID-19 crisis.
“This year during the pandemic, so many of us are doing more of our holiday shopping online,” Feuer said. “We will also be receiving gifts by delivery from others, who might in the past have given us the gifts in person. A new Security Nerd survey finds 43% will scale back in-person holiday gift exchanges with friends and family (and) 38% plan to ship directly from retailer to recipient.”
The video in English can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va1f5WecMyM&feature=youtu.be. The video in Spanish can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ9QQ6sIGXQ&feature=youtu.be.
Feuer said packages should be received in person or by someone the recipient trusts, like a neighbor. Whether sending a gift to someone or ordering something yourself online, people should request a requisite signature upon delivery, with tracking numbers and delivery notifications to know when packages arrive, he said.
The city attorney said people should use security lockers installed at major retailers when picking up a package and to use home security cameras to record video and speak to people at their door.
People who will be out of town for the holiday should notify the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx online to hold packages until they return.
Most cases of package theft are not reported to the Los Angeles Police Department, but Feuer said he urges people to report them, as it helps law enforcement track instances of package theft at notable locations.
More information on reporting a crime to LAPD is at www.lapdonline.org/report_a_crime.
“We’ve all been through enough this year,” Feuer said. “Please protect yourself from being a victim of package theft, and let’s all have a happy holiday season.”
Feuer said a neighborhood prosecutor from his office is working on this issue, which includes providing community education and prevention, and working with the Apartment Association on a message with the LAPD for more than 200 apartment owners and managers about how best to prevent package theft.
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