How to outsmart the grinches

Ginger Campbell
Special to the Union

HUMBOLDT – The holiday season is here and people are already receiving holiday packages via delivery services such as UPS and FedEx. Nationally, as well as locally, a problem has arisen in which people follow delivery trucks, grab packages after delivery, run back to their cars and zoom off. While delivery drivers used to call law enforcement if they happened to see this in their rearview mirrors, they really don’t have the time to do so as it requires identifying the vehicle, the person, and so forth, and we all know those drivers have no time for that.

So, if you know a package is coming soon, and if you are not going to be home, have the package delivered to a neighbor who will be there, to your work, or to another safe location. It only takes a minute for someone to ruin a nice gift.

The same goes for anyone to whom you are sending a package. Ask the recipient if they want packages delivered to their home or to a different safe location, especially if they work. It’s so nice to surprise people with a gift from afar, but if it never arrives, it’s a very sad thing.

Cardboard recycling tips

Be cautious when recycling cardboard all year round, but especially around holiday time. When you put your cardboard out for recycling, do not leave anything showing that might indicate you have new valuables, such as a computer, flatscreen TV, iPod, iPad, iPhone, tools and so on. When you put your cardboard in the bin, fold it to the inside so that the printing does not show if someone lifts up the lid to peek in, and never leave the big boxes next to recycling containers. As burglars troll the neighborhoods, they make a mental note of who has something valuable that they can come back and get later.

Record serial numbers  

Recording serial numbers can help with retreiving items if they are stolen. Write down the serial numbers of anything you send as gifts. On the other end, the recipient may not be as conscientious as you, and if they get their items stolen, at least someone has that serial number to give to law enforcement and to insurance companies. When you send items with serial numbers, include a reminder to the recipient to write it down in a safe location. If you ship directly from Amazon or some other place, remind the person to record the number. Recording bicycle serial numbers is also important.

Be safe and be smarter than the average bear.

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