BEDFORD — With the holiday season upon us, Chief John J. Bryfonski and the Bedford Police Department seek to provide citizens with vital information that can keep them, their belongings, and their homes safe.
“I encourage all residents and business owners to take a few moments to become familiar with these tips, as they will go far in preventing an uptick in crime this holiday season,” Chief Bryfonski said. “Our first priority is the safety and security of all people, and we hope you will do your part by removing chances for criminals to ruin your holiday season.”
Preventing Holiday Package Theft
FedEx and UPS offer services to assist customers during the holidays. To best ensure that your packages are not taken, Bedford Police recommend the following strategies:
- Request notifications on your deliveries, via phone or email, to monitor your packages in transit and upon delivery.
- Always require a signature on your deliveries to ensure packages are never left unattended.
- Consider sending deliveries to an alternate location where someone will be able to receive them – whether that be a workplace, a neighbor or friend’s house, or a FedEx or UPS location.
- Schedule your delivery for a specific date and time that you’re expected to be home.
- Set up a vacation hold if you plan on traveling during the holidays so gifts won’t be left on the doorstep.
- Be aware of “tailgating,” which refers to the people who follow delivery vehicles and steal the packages after they are dropped off.
- If you find your package has been stolen, reach out to Bedford Police a t603-472-5113 and report it immediately.
- Never accept a surprise delivery where a payment is required, and never give out personal information when receiving a delivery that you purchased.
- Mail rooms in places such as apartment complexes: If you have a mail room where packages are left, contact management before you leave to arrange for a secure location on the property or in the mail room where they can securely store packages rather than being left in the public area.
Preventing Car Breaks
The single most important thing a person can do to avoid theft of valuable from motor vehicles is to always lock the doors of their vehicles. The vast majority of car “breaks” occur in unlocked cars. Thieves will literally go from car-to-car skipping the locked ones and casually entering the unlocked ones to steal whatever may be inside.
Of course, don’t give a thief a reason to break in.
Never leave valuables such as GPS units, cash, jewelry, or electronics in plain view. Use your center console, glove box, or trunk — or keep those things with you.
The Bedford Police Department reminds everyone to keep their wallets and purses in view at all times. Never leave a purse in an unattended shopping cart, and bring your goods directly to your vehicle after paying for them.
Are you going on vacation this holiday season? Stop by the Bedford Police Department and fill out a vacant property form. The form tells the police department to periodically check your property while you are away.
Home or away, always lock your doors.
See Something, Say Something
In addition to locking the doors to your home and vehicles, the Bedford Police Department encourages residents watch out for one another in the neighborhoods to help prevent burglaries. You can protect your community by recognizing and reporting suspicious activity.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, suspicious activity includes, but is not limited to:
- Unusual items or situations: A vehicle parked at an odd location, a package left unattended, a window or door left is open that is normally closed, any other out-of-the-ordinary situation.
- Eliciting information: If a person questions other individuals at a level that is beyond normal curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures, personnel, shift changes, etc.
- Observation/surveillance: An individual who pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (especially in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g. with binoculars or video camera), taking notes or measurements, counting paces, sketching floor plans, etc.
Many of these activities could be innocent, but police are ultimately responsible for determining whether the behavior should be investigated.
If you do see something suspicious, whether it’s in a residential neighborhood, downtown or in a high traffic business district such as South River Road or the Bedford Mall, you should report it to the Bedford Police Department at 603-472-5113 and describe specifically what you observed, including:
- Who or what you saw
- When you saw it
- Where it occurred
- Why it’s suspicious