With the holiday season in full swing, we wanted to offer a few safety tips to help keep you safe.
Many of us are using popular mobile apps or classified ad websites to find the perfect present. In most cases, these transactions go off without a hitch, but unfortunately, some criminals are using them to target victims.
Since the beginning of the year, detectives have investigated more than 50 robberies or attempted robberies where suspects used the apps or websites to find victims to rob. The suspects posed as either interested customers or sellers, primarily of shoes and cell phones. When they met to conduct a transaction, the victim was robbed of cash and personal belongings. Detectives have made arrests in more than half of these investigations.
Please take a moment to review these safety tips when using these apps or websites.
*Never go alone to the transaction location. Always try to bring a second person with you.
*Only meet a potential buyer or seller in a public place.
*Trust your instincts. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
*Unless the item is too large to bring out of your home, never invite a buyer to your home.
In addition to these robberies, since Thanksgiving, each week, we’ve seen an average of four thefts of packages that have been delivered to homes. On Monday, this thief took two packages from the porch of a home on Spencer Court in Bowie.
If you are ordering a product for delivery, please try to schedule its arrival for when you’re home. If that’s not possible, send the package to your workplace or to a neighbor’s house.