Doreen Guarino has six grandchildren. Like most grandparents she likes to shower them with gifts during the holidays. This year, though, was almost spoiled, as Grinch-like thieves stole several packages from her front porch last week.
“I was thinking, ‘what did I order? I have to reorder everything’ and I had ordered a lot,” said Guarino.
Meriden police said they responded to a report of two suspects stealing packages on Highland Avenue last Tuesday. While one suspect got away, the other was arrested and many of the stolen items were recovered.
“I was stunned because I really didn’t think we were going to get them back,” Guarino said.
Guarino said police alerted her to the thefts in her neighborhood when she realized her packages were among those missing. From the time she learned of the new to the time the gifts were returned, was only 30 minutes but stressful.
“For that half hour I was walking around, like what am I going to do? It wasn’t really registering,” she said.
Police said the holiday season is prime time for package thieves, preying on delivery services. Technology, though, is on the side of investigators who said ,surveillance video, often incorporated in doorbells themselves, help thwart this crime.
“We have the resources to be able to synthesize it. To be able to broadcast it in situations that we think we can, to develop suspects,” said Meriden Police Department Sgt. Christopher Fry.
To avoid package theft, experts advise scheduling deliveries for when someone is home or instructing deliveries to be left someplace less visible than the front porch. Meriden police agree and recommend one other element of protection.
“Look out for your neighbors to be able to help them be conscientious of your neighborhood. (Consider) who it is that belongs or doesn’t belong. It’s all about people helping people,” explained Fry.
Guarino says Meriden police “saved Christmas” when they delivered three large boxes of toys, intended as gifts for her grandchildren. Despite the scare, she said, she will continue to have deliveries made.
“I think there are a lot more good people out there, than bad people so it won’t change anything for me,” she said, truly exhibiting the holiday spirit.