Tampa police remind residents to lock doors, safeguard packages against theft

Tampa police are urging the public to take steps to minimize crimes of opportunity, like package thefts and car break-ins.

In the last month, officers have received 13 reports about package thefts. At this point last year, there had been 22. Despite the decrease, police are reminding people to stay alert.

"We've heard of cases where they follow the delivery trucks and we also know that they are driving up and down the street, especially now," said Eddy Durkin, a Tampa police spokesperson. "We're in the shopping season of the holiday season. Packages are coming in. A lot of people are shopping online. When these packages are being delivered, most of the time, people are not home."

Durkin said car break-ins have decreased overall, but the biggest issues are still unlocked vehicle doors.

"We've seen a decrease in auto burglaries and we're very proud of that, however, the auto burglaries that we're still seeing, 78% of those are happening from vehicles that are unlocked," he said. "You're going to have these criminals that go down the street. They're going to check a car, if one's open and they get some stuff, they're going to move on to the next care, try that and if it's open they're going to keep going and taking stuff out. We've it happen before where they'll try multiple vehicles and if they see they're all locked, they do move on."

Durkin said this is the time of year people need to remember to keep their cars locked and packages out of sight.