Police offer tips to keep holiday packages safe

The Renton Police Department remind residents to protect themselves from being targeted.

With the holiday season upon us, many residents will do their shopping online. This also creates an opportunity for thieves to steal holiday packages delivered from homes and the Renton Police Department would like to remind residents to protect themselves from being targeted.

Here are some tips to help keep your deliveries safe:

Provide instructions for hiding packages. Give delivery services a specific spot to leave your packages: hidden behind the big planter or tucked behind the grill near the back door, for example.

Schedule the delivery. Pick a delivery time and date through your shipping company and track the progress online. Alerts are sent, even if the customer does not have the tracking number.

Pick an alternate delivery destination. Have the package delivered to your workplace or to a family member, friend or neighbor who is home during the day to accept the delivery. The package can also be sent to the shipping company’s nearest office for pickup or held and shipped later.

Choose the most secure form of delivery. Postal service customers can opt for Registered Mail, where packages receive special handling from the time they’re mailed until they’re delivered, documenting the chain of custody.

Request a signature. When shipping something of high value or just to be sure items aren’t left unattended, request a signature for packages to be released.

Insure all packages. Consider paying extra to insure valuable shipments.

Request a ring. If possible, instruct delivery drivers to always ring your doorbell or knock on your door when leaving packages.

Going out of town? Place a vacation hold. Before leaving town, plan ahead to have packages held.

Add a security camera/post a warning sign. Video surveillance cameras or signs for security systems are an effective deterrent to thefts from home exteriors. The threat of being monitored will often stop potential thieves who don’t want to be identified.