Series of package thefts takes place in Urbana, Police warn to bring packages inside

By Gillian Dunlop, Staff Writer

The Urbana Police Department has been notified of several missing package reports since early November.

“Monday morning we had three package theft (reports), so I thought it’d be wise to send out a reminder that people should take care when ordering things,” Lt. Richard Surles said.

So far, the police have not identified a pattern in the thefts, but last year, apartment buildings were targeted most often.

“Last year when we were experiencing a high number of package thefts, apartment complexes (were big targets), but that didn’t preclude people from (taking packages) from single-family dwellings,” Surles said.

No particular street or apartment complex has been targeted in Urbana; however, Surles said a lot of student housing on North Lincoln Avenue experiences package thefts.

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    According to the press release from the Urbana Police Department, there was an increase of package theft during November and December last year as well.

    “People are doing more online shopping and preparing for the holidays,” Surles said. “There’s a higher level of traffic in terms of package delivery this time of year.”

    Surles estimated that well over 100 packages were reported stolen between November and December last year, though that does not include unreported burglaries.

    “I would imagine there would be quite a few packages (that were not reported),” Surles said.

    Surles said that the easiest way to avoid someone stealing your package is to leave it with your mail carrier.

    “The easiest way (to prevent theft) is for people to have the carrier keep the package, so instead of having it on your doorstep, you can pick it up,” he said. “If you leave it at your doorstep, anyone can walk by and take it.”

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