If you are doing your holiday shopping on line this year then you probably think nothing of opening your door to someone claiming to have a package for you. After reading what happened to three families last Saturday you may want to be a bit more cautious.
Last Saturday was a busy day for armed robbers invading the homes of several victims by posing as delivery men or claiming they had car trouble.
According to one preliminary report, three men got their victims to open to door by pretending to be delivery men before handcuffing the four victims and taking money and jewelry from a safe located in the house, said Police News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety.
Later that day police arrested 2 men and charged them with invading three homes Saturday on the North and Near West Sides.
Police claim Smith and Parker gained entry into a house in the 1100 block of West 13th Street just 30 minutes earlier, saying they had car trouble, the release said. Once inside, they allegedly struck two people in the head with a gun and robbed them of cash, electronics and telephones before fleeing in a blue vehicle with out-of-state license plates.
What can you do to avoid becoming a victim?
1) Are you expecting a delivery? If not, take a lookout your window to see who is there. The majority of these deliveries are going to be made by UPS, FedEx or USPS, but not always. A local contractor may deliver larger items.
2) If you don’t see a truck or van parked out front with the name of the company emblazoned on the side be very cautious. Before opening the door lookout a window or peephole and see who is there. UPS, FedEx and USPS all wear uniforms.
3) If you live in an apartment building you may not have a street view. Don’t open the door to see who is there. If you do not have peephole or door viewer of some kind then ask questions through your locked door. Who are they? What are they delivering? Who is it from? If you don’t like the answers tell them to leave the package in front of the door.
4) Don’t depend on a door chain to keep an assailant out. People use door chains to open the door slightly to see who is outside. Don’t do it! Most chains are held in place by a few small screws, which can be ripped out if the assailant throws his body against the door. A door bar is better for this purpose, if installed properly.
5) What if they are asking for help because their vehicle broke down or maybe they want to leave a package with you for a neighbor or someone else in your building? Don’t let them in to use the phone. Everyone in the delivery business has a cell phone; they shouldn’t need to use yours.
If you suspect a delivery person is not who they say they are and they refuse to leave call the police.
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