With the onset of Covid-19 and stay-at-home orders, many of us have taken to ordering supplies and things we need online these days, either out of necessity or convenience. And this has obviously led to an increase in packages being delivered to people's homes. Unfortunately, this has also led to an uptick in thefts of packages, as individuals trying to make a quick buck have started to steal the deliveries right from doorsteps and front porches.

In Bangor, there are a handful of Neighborhood Watch groups who are warning citizens to be vigilant about tracking their packages. The warnings come after a number of members reported getting delivery confirmation emails, but no actual packages.

It's a good idea, if you're expecting important mail, to keep an eye out for delivery trucks, and when possible, meet them at the door. Have your neighbors do the same, especially if you won't be home to immediately collect them. If the package is scheduled to come during a time you won't be home, it's also a good idea to arrange for a neighbor to bring it inside for you, as packages left outside are easy targets for folks with bad intentions.

If you can swing it, setting up cameras outside your home may also be a good deterrent, or at the very least and aid in recovering your stuff, should it be stolen.

Beyond that, being aware of your surroundings is key. With more of us at home these days, we kind of have an idea of what's usual foot traffic through our neighborhoods. Keeping an eye on things or people that seem out of place can be helpful, should something turn up missing. It gives authorities a place to start.

For instance, just this week, one of the Neighborhood Watch members posted video, with audio, on one of the sites that clearly showed a man and a woman scoping out this neighbor's house, late at night. This couple went all around the house, looking at points of entry, and could even be heard making a comment about there being cameras all over.

We live in Maine, and in a city like Bangor, most of us feel pretty safe. But these are strange and somewhat desperate times for many folks. It's important to be aware, be smart and be prepared. Join a neighborhood watch or if you don't have one, create one of your own. Get to know the people who live around you. Work as a team.

Of course there is always the possibility that the order has been delayed, or got mixed up in the mail. That's why it's good to track them and keep in communication with whomever is sending it to you, should something unexpected take place.

It's true what they say, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." A little preparation and attention to details could mean the difference between delivery and disappointment.

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