Police warn of package thieves

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By Steven Cook

NISKAYUNA — Town police are investigating reports of at least four thefts of packages delivered to homes ahead of the Christmas holiday, police said on Friday.

Police received one report of a theft on Sunday and three more on Tuesday, Deputy Police Chief Michael Stevens said.

Schenectady police confirmed three package theft reports in recent days, with one in Hamilton Hill on Monday and two from the Northside — one each on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, it’s a crime of opportunity,” Stevens said. “Most times, they don’t know what they’re taking. They figure it out when they open it.”

Stevens said the department is also in touch with the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx.

Police early last month arrested five people on charges related to a similar string of package thefts that occurred in September in Schenectady.

Two 16-year-olds and a 23-year-old were accused of randomly taking packages from a half-dozen homes, according to court paperwork filed in the case. Investigators also charged two unnamed juveniles in that case.

Postal officials offered advice to any resident expecting packages, though they added that they see such thefts infrequently.

Post office officials advised residents to:

  • — Avoid sending cash by mail.
  • — Not leave delivered mail and packages unattended.
  • — Consider an alternate shipping address, such as a neighbor who’s home, or to your place of work.
  • — Use USPS Package Intercept to reroute packages or have them held for pickup.
  • — Customize delivery by leaving special instructions at USPS.com.
  • — Hold mail at the post office when traveling.
  • — Use the USPS signature service to require a signature upon delivery.
  • — Use registered mail for the most-valuable packages.
  • — Use post office boxes.