When the holiday season rolls around, thieves ramp up their search for those online purchases left on porches.
With stolen packages making the news across the country, the Canton Police Department decided to take a proactive approach.
"We saw it happening nationwide. So just to be out in front of that curve, we decided to offer this service so we're not going to be one of those statistics later on," said Canton Police Chief Chris Arciero.
That service, called the Holiday Package Safe Delivery Program is in its fourth year. It allows Canton residents to use the police department's address as an alternative for delivery of holiday packages.
The program runs from November 22 to December 24 and there are simple steps residents need to take. They should use their own name and the Canton Police Department address - 45 River Road, Canton, CT 06019 - for their package. They should then contact police at 860-693-0221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Provide a name and address and expected date of delivery. We'll have that information here. Then, when the package gets delivered, we'll call the person the package belongs to and say, 'Your package has been delivered. Stop by Canton PD to pick it up,'" Arciero explained.
Hours of pick up are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week and you'll need to provide a photo ID at the front desk to get your package.
Police say large items like furniture or appliances should not be sent to the police department.
For those who don't live in Canton or who don't want to use the program, police have some recommendations for how to keep your packages safe. You can have packages delivered to your workplace, you can install a security camera, you can require a signature on delivery, you can require vacation package holds, you can ask a trusted neighbor or a family member who lives nearby to help grab your packages so they're not left outside.
For more information on the Canton Police Department's program, click here.
For more information on safety steps you can take, click here.