Law enforcement offers tips to guard against grinches

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Holiday grinches are out and about stealing packages.

"Most of the criminals in our community are opportunistic,” says Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department. “They are looking for the opportunity."

There have been a string of package thefts across Lauderdale County. Some stolen packages with Meridian addresses were even recovered in Rankin County after a suspect was arrested there. Calhoun says the holiday season is peak time for these types of crimes.

"They know this is the time of year a large number of people have items they purchased to give as gifts delivered to their home. They will drive around looking for those packages. Many times they don't care what it is. They don't know what's in the box. They just grab the box, get in the car and take off,” explains Calhoun.

But there are ways to keep your packages safe.

"Probably the easiest thing to do is to have the package delivered to a location where someone is going to be, such as a friend's business or your own business/workplace. That way the package is actually being delivered and being brought inside to you and not being left outside at a house,” says Calhoun.

You can also track your package and make sure a neighbor or someone trusted can get it when it is delivered.

"This is one of the areas where we encourage people to look out for their neighbors. If you see a neighbor has a package and you have their number, it could be a good opportunity to call them and say 'Hey I see you have a package that's been delivered, do you want me to grab it for you really quickly? It will be over at my house. You can get when you get home,'” explains Calhoun.

Calhoun also says putting in a special delivery request to hide boxes in certain areas is another way to prevent your package from being taken.