As the holiday season draws closer, the Grande Prairie RCMP is reminding residents to keep track of packages, as too often, criminals seize upon items left on the doorstep.

Sgt. Shawn Graham says there are some tips police share with online shoppers this time of year that will hopefully help them avoid any Christmas nightmares. He adds while it’s not the fault of the homeowner or residents waiting for the package, the best way to keep any potential perps at bay is by being proactive.

“It’s a crime of opportunity, something is there out in the open, and if they can get it without being caught, people will certainly take advantage of that,” he says.

“Certainly tracking the packages so that you know when it’s going to arrive, so perhaps you can be home for that,” he says.

Graham adds if you know you’re not going to be home during the delivery period, consider having it delivered to your workplace, or a friend’s house you know will be available. He adds there are also additional steps you can take through various delivery services, usually free of charge, to give yourself another layer of protection.

“Maybe request a signature confirmation, so someone has to be home to sign and accept the package before it is delivered,” he adds.