Online Originals: The Pitt Co. Sheriff’s Office has message for holiday thieves

Online Originals

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – It’s the best of times, and also the most desperate of times. Holiday shopping is fueling economic and criminal activity, and that’s causing a lot of headaches for people buying gifts and other essentials.

Officials with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office said there’s a lot of opportunity for crime right now, mostly due to the number of packages being left on the front porch. More criminal activity during the holidays isn’t unusual. According to reports from the National Crime Victimization Survey, two specific types of crime increase in December: robbery and personal larceny.

Robbery is taking property with force, and personal larceny is taking property without the person’s consent. These two crimes increase about 20 percent during the last month of the year. There is some good news: more violent crimes tend to see a decline.

Sgt. Lee Darnell with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office said criminals are opportunists. He said a lot of people are doing online shopping due to the coronavirus, and that’s causing more temptations for criminals. He said there are a few things you can do to keep your purchases safe.

Do anything you can to minimize the amount of time that a package is on the front porch.

Sgt. Lee Darnell

Darnell said you should schedule your deliveries for a time when you’re home, or have them sent to your workplace. He also has a warning to anyone who might be tempted to steal a package or two.

There’s also a space where you can leave special instructions for the deliverer, to leave them in places that are out of sight from a street view.

If you get out there and start taking packages, start breaking into cars, there are people watching. There are cameras watching. The chances of you going to jail are high. If you take that chance.  Don’t make that decision.

Sgt. Lee Darnell

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