Package theft will spike starting this week; here’s how to protect yourself.

REDMOND - Many of you perhaps took advantage of the holiday sales from the past few days. But this week, what you ordered will be delivered. And just like clockwork, the mail thieves and porch pirates are out.

"All year-round, these happen. But it’s just this time of year, there is a higher volume of packages coming to houses, this time of year,” said Andrea Wolf-Buck, public information coordinator for the Redmond Police Department.

Packages and gifts are making their way to homes all over the country after the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“This week is probably prime-time for criminals to be out there,” said Wolf-Buck.

According to Redmond Police, there’s already been a case of mail theft in the city’s Grasslawn District, located west of 520, near Marymoor Park.

“That was a bank of mailboxes, that were pried open. It probably took less than a minute to pop them open,” she said.

Which is why police are reminding people the steps they can do to make sure  information stays safe and packages don't get stolen. Redmond police said it starts even before you purchase anything.

“We recommend using one credit card for all of your shopping,” said Wolf-Buck. “If that credit card does get compromised, you’re just canceling one card."

They also recommend using a prepaid card so it’s not tied to your actual account.

Also, cyber-criminals are using pop-up ads that ask to verify your information or password, which Redmond Police say to never give up. And don't use unsecured wifi.

As for preventing package theft?

“You can send it to the store, that’s always a good tip. It’s a little less convenient, but it’ll guarantee that it won’t be sitting at your porch,” she said.

Or they say have the deliveries require a signature, have it delivered when you know you'll be home. If you know you won’t be home, ask a neighbor or friend to hold it for you.

“If you don’t have a locking mailbox, we definitely recommend investing in one. A lot of times, criminals will go for lowest common denominator,” said Wolf-Buck.

And with technology,  like doorbell cameras becoming more popular, police say that will deter criminals too.

And lastly, Redmond police say, if a package was stolen or you see something suspicious, report it immediately. Many of these crimes are not reported because the victim just calls the store to get the item replaced, she said. If you report it, it gives investigators a better idea if there are any hot-spots for thefts that they can investigate further.

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