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Package thefts are on the rise in Montclair. ERIN ROLL/STAFF

BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
winters@montclairlocal.news

Package thefts are on the rise in Montclair this holiday season, according to police reports.

In two days, six residents reported over $2,100 worth of merchandise stolen from in front of their homes from Dec. 7 -9 , according to police reports.

Last year, Montclair Police Department received only five reports of package thefts for both November and December, police said. Since Nov. 1, MPD has already received 10 reports of package thefts throughout Montclair.

Most recent reports include:

Saturday, Dec. 7 – Central Avenue, Church Street; 

Monday, Dec. 9 – Hawthorne Place, Glenridge Avenue, 2 Church Street residences

Police were able to retrieve security footage from outside the Church Street apartment building, which shows a possible suspect: a black male, 20s to 30s in age, wearing a light-colored hat, dark-colored shirt, light-colored pants and carrying an umbrella. 

Security experts recommend having packages delivered to work, or to a neighbor who is home and agreed to take your packages. You can also request from most shipping companies that packages only be left if they receive a signature. It does require someone to be home to sign for packages.

Installing a video doorbell that alerts you when someone enters your property can thwart a thief.

Some avid online shoppers are now installing lockers on their porch that require a code to unlock. The code must be included when you are checking out online under special instructions for delivery.

Police are also reminding residents and guests to remove all valuables and gifts from cars or to leave them in the trunk, and to make sure the car is locked. Over 15 thefts from vehicles were reported since November, with most cars left unlocked.