Richmond police share tips to help deter package theft

File Photo. A Marin County man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing home-delivered packages, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.

Package theft is a common crime, especially during the holidays, and Richmond police have shared a number of tips to help prevent it.

The crime takes place when thieves follow delivery trucks and monitor packages left on porches. A package left unsecured on the porch is fair game for thieves, according to police.

People expecting packages should ask friends and relatives to let them know in advance and provide the tracking information, police said. Also, it's a good idea to request a signature for packages or ask a trusted neighbor to sign for them.

Big-ticket items can be sent to lockers, such as the Amazon Locker, a self-service kiosk where customers can pick up packages at a time convenient for them. They can also be sent to post office annexes for pickup.

Those expecting packages can leave instructions for the driver to leave them in a discreet place. However, it's important to note that this may not always be effective in preventing theft, police said. A determined thief can still snatch the items.

Video monitors can capture helpful images of thieves, but they don't stop anyone from stealing, according to police. Enlisting neighbors to be on the lookout is a good idea, police said.

"Remember, a neighborhood with people who look out for each other is a great neighborhood. Share these tips with neighbors and friends," law enforcement officials said in a statement.

If a theft should occur, people should notify police and the delivery service.