Sterling Heights police remind holiday shoppers to keep gifts out of sight to prevent theft

Larcenies are 22 percent higher in December

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Every holiday season, police get a lot of calls from victims who have had packages stolen off front porches or from inside vehicles.

Aaron Susalla is a police sergeant in Sterling Heights. He has been a cop for 18 years and he said every single year there are plenty of victims calling for help after their holiday presents have been stolen.

READ: Have you noticed mail delays? Metro Detroit residents share their experiences

Research shows that larcenies are about 22 percent higher in December because of holiday shopping. Some reminders are to park in well-lit areas, keep an eye out for suspicious people and keep packages in your trunk, in the cargo area, covered, or under a seat.

“People will go by, try your door and if it’s locked they’ll just move on to the next car door,” Susalla said.

Susalla said another way to stay prepared for theft is to not carry cash on you.

“If your purse does get stolen, your credit cards can be canceled. That cash, you’re just not going to get it back,” Susalla said.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s expected to be more online shopping than usual this year. Experian said 43 percent of holiday shopping identity theft happens during online shopping.

You should only use the websites you know are secure. Keep an eye on your credit cards for fraudulent activity and don’t use a debit card online.

“A lot of debit cards are hooked up to your bank account. If you lose the cash, it’s hard. If it’s a credit card, you can dispute the charges and it’s not cash coming out of your bank account,” Susalla said.

More Coverage:

About the Authors: