The Worcester Police Department Crime Analysis Unit has identified specific trends during the holiday season regarding increased incidents involving purse snatchings, robberies, delivery thefts from homes and thefts from motor vehicles.

As a result, the Worcester Police Department encourages citizens to follow some fundamental safety measures to ensure that their holiday season is a safe and an enjoyable one.

While Shopping:

Do not leave your purse unattended in your shopping cart. Hold on to it at all times. If at all possible, do not carry a purse; keep your money and credit cards in your front pocket.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, if you must carry your purse; wear it strapped across your body. Do not carry your wallet in a loose jacket or loose pocket. Be sure not to carry all of your credit cards with you.

Leave unneeded documents at home.

If you need to store purchases in your vehicle, if possible lock them in your trunk. However, if they must be left in the inside area of your vehicle, keep them out of plain view with a cover.

Make sure the vehicle is locked and the alarm is set (if applicable).

Avoid shopping alone if possible, shop with friends or family.

After Shopping:

Remain alert in parking lots, be aware of your surroundings, and take notice of suspicious persons and/or vehicles.

Always park your car in a well-lit area when possible.

When reaching your vehicle, do not leave your pocketbook in the shopping cart. Lock your pocketbook inside your vehicle then load groceries or packages into the trunk.

Have your vehicle keys in your hand as you approach your car.

If you are alone and feel uncomfortable, ask store or mall security to escort you to your vehicle.

Visually check the back seat of your vehicle before opening the door and getting in, and immediately lock your doors once you enter your vehicle.

Report all suspicious persons and vehicles to mall security or local police immediately.

Package Delivery Tips:

Track all shipments carefully and retrieve delivered packages as soon as possible. Some carriers provide stop-by-stop delivery notifications so you know the moment your package was delivered. We know that package thieves sometimes follow marked delivery vehicles, so retrieving your packages as soon as possible is important for reducing the risk of theft.

Consider an alternate destination. When you order something online, consider sending the package to your workplace or to a family member of friend.

Request a signature. Many deliveries do not require a signature, if something of high value is to be delivered, request a signature before it is released.

Post a security sign at your residence.

Consider a lockbox for deliveries.

Promptly report any suspicious persons/vehicles/activity in your neighborhood.

Request a vacation hold. If you are going away for the holidays you can request a hold on the delivery for up to two weeks.

Ask for the delivery person to ring or knock. You can also request a specific area you wish the item to be delivered so that it is not out in plain view.

In the event of a theft, it is helpful to know ahead of time if there are security cameras in the area that might have captured the incident on film.

Schedule your delivery. You can request a specific time and day that best suit your schedule.

The Worcester Police Department whishes all a safe and happy holiday season.

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