Cambridge package thefts from Jan. 1 to Oct. 30 show the hottest spots in Central Square, Riverside and Mid-Cambridge. Click the map to enlarge. (Image: Cambridge Police Department)

Package thefts from doorsteps and lobbies were down 28 percent in the first 10 months of the year compared with the same period last year – 78 vs. 109 – but that might not mean much with the arrival of the holiday shopping season, police said.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is just days away, and “the Cambridge Police Department expects package thefts to increase,” said Jeremy Warnick, the department’s director of communications and media relations.

Central Square and the nearest portions of the Riverside neighborhood have been most vulnerable to package theft in the past year, followed by a nearby section in Mid-Cambridge.

Residents are reminded to take precautions when ordering online and shipping packages, and also strongly encouraged to report criminal activity “so that the department can best understand where and when to deploy its resources to limit this and other crimes,” Warnick said.

Police officers will do door-to-door outreach in neighborhoods that have historically been victimized by package thefts and show how residents can protect themselves, Warnick said. There department also announced a plan to deploy “bait packages” equipped with GPS tracking devices that police plan to follow to find thieves.

The department advises that residents should consider tracking packages online to have a better idea when they will arrive; request that packages arrive on days they’ll be home; have packages delivered to a work address or to a neighborhood friend or family member who will be home; and insist on a signature for package delivery.


This post was written from a press release.