New Haven has seen non-auto-related thefts drop 21.7 percent the past month from the same period last year. That means bad news for now for thieves who grab valuable packages during the holiday season. To keep the bad news coming, the police department has issued some advice to the public.
Advice, and a poem.
First the poem, courtesy of police spokesman Officer David Hartman:
‘Twas two weeks until Christmas in the City of Elm
And the larceny stats would not overwhelm
Block Watches and citizens were on the look-out
For despicable thieves who were lurking about
The crooks look for trucks of the delivery style
And follow their drivers in a manner so vile.
From East Rock to Westville they rudely stop by
To see what nice parcels are on your lanai
Chief Esserman’s committed to keep you abreast
Of Grinches who deserve to be under arrest
Safeguard your goodies so as not to get stressed
By a criminal element that must be suppressed.
Now the advice, also from Hartman (also in his words):
• Require a signature upon delivery.
• Request a tracking number and delivery confirmation.
• Insure your packages.
• Specify delivery instructions, indicating where the package should be left.
• Arrange to pick up packages at the post office or delivery service location.
• Ship packages to your workplace, if the company allows it.
• Ask a friend or neighbor to look out for your order and accept & pick up your packages.
• If you are sending a package, let the person you are sending it to know that it is coming and when to expect it to arrive. Follow up to make sure it was received.
If you suspect that your package was lost or stolen, you should:
• First, check outside your residence (or other delivery address) to see if the package was placed out of sight, such as in the hedges, by the garage or on the porch.
• Ask your neighbors if they witnessed the delivery or if the shipper accidentally delivered the package to them.
• Contact the shipper first to be sure the items were sent properly. If you determine that the shipper was not at fault, file a complaint with the U.S.
• Postal Inspection Service.
• File a police report.
If you made the purchase with a credit card:
• Federal law allows consumers to dispute charges for credit card purchases if they are damaged or stolen.
• Consumers whose good faith attempts with merchants have failed should contact their credit card issuers to reverse the credit card transaction.
• Most credit card issuers offer purchase protection, which protects items against theft or damage for a specified period of time (usually 90 days).
• Check with your credit card company to see if you are covered.