Police warn of rise in thefts during holiday shopping season


SALT LAKE CITY — It’s the time of year where law enforcement around the state want you to be on high alert. Thieves are stealing mail, packages and even items inside your car during the holiday season.

Shoppers scouting out holiday deals are not alone. It’s busy season for thieves looking for easy targets.

“We see vehicles left unlocked. It's just a quick smash and grab. You know, they come up, it takes them less than a few seconds to break your window and take whatever is sitting there and be gone,” said Lt. Matt Pennington, South Jordan Police Department.

Police recommend you not leave any shopping bags or packages in your car where people can see them. If you can, lock them in your trunk.

Another place thieves target is your mailbox.

“Last week, we had an incident in the neighborhood where somebody had broken into a locked mailbox taken a couple of residents' mail,” said Pennington.

A few years ago, South Jordan Police busted a mail theft ring. Thieves could run off with personal information from documents sent to you and could steal your identity.

Police encourage people to check their mail every day, and don’t let it sit overnight.

You’ll also want to protect the purchases delivered to your doorstep.

“I had missed my packages for a couple of days. Called, they said they were delivered,” said Trudi Madison.

A woman snatched packages off Madison’s South Ogden porch a couple of weeks ago. Her surveillance camera caught a good glimpse of the young woman, who then drove off in a red car.

“I probably won't get the merchandise back which doesn't bother me so bad as much as I want to catch the person and make sure that she's not taking Christmas packages off of porches," Madison said.

Police say make other arrangements for packages delivered to your home.

“When you're having packages delivered look at maybe an alternative place to have that delivered if you`re not going to be home. A neighbor that you trust, a workplace, if they allow that,” said Pennington.

If you have any information about the stolen package, call South Ogden Police at 801-622-2800.