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Beware the porch pirates

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Holiday shopping season is upon us and your (not-so) friendly neighborhood porch pirates are gearing up to pilfer the holiday treasures being delivered to your doorstep.

We’ve all seen the familiar footage from a home security camera: a fish-eye view of a home’s front porch sporting a stack of smiling Amazon Prime boxes. An unexpected car pulls up. A stranger approaches the cardboard booty. He or she looks to the left, looks to the right, scoops up the bounty and runs back to the car, ruining the holidays for those in the home.

The holiday season can be stressful enough with arranging travel or hosting overnight guests; baking; cleaning; shopping and wrapping gifts. You don’t need the extra burden of crooks stealing your joy and peace of mind.

Here are some ways you can conquer the porch pirates and lay claim to the best holiday ever.

Have your packages delivered elsewhere

If you have the luxury of being able to have your packages delivered to your office, this is one of the best options. As a bonus, you can easily hide the gifts from your family.

If this isn’t an option, have your orders shipped to a neighbor or family member who is home during the day.

FedEx packages can be picked up at one of their offices or a local participating Walgreens location.

UPS packages can be received at a local UPS Store, CVS or Michael’s stores or you can arrange to have them delivered on a day when you are home.

Let the delivery person in

Most respondents to a recent PC Magazine survey of 1,500 people said they are willing to spend an average of $110.86 on home protection gadgets. A total of 28 percent said they have a security camera, 25 percent have a video doorbell, and 17 percent have a smart lock.

Smart locks allow you to unlock your door from your smartphone or computer. Video allows you to see who is at your door. You can instruct delivery people on where to drop the packages and then lock up after they leave.

Smart locks range in price from $100-$300, which is worth it to keep your family safe and happy.

Have packages delivered to your car

Key by Amazon allows Amazon Prime members to have their packages left in their home, garage or even their cars.

Download the app to have your items shipped to your car within hours. Check the app or website to see if your product, vehicle and address of the vehicle are eligible for delivery. Pick a delivery time, and you’re set. You will receive notification of when your package is out for delivery and when the driver is en route.

According to the Amazon website, “Key In-Car Delivery is available with select makes and models. It is available with model year 2015 and newer Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Volvo vehicles and requires an active connected car service plan, such as OnStar and On Call.”

Key In-Car Delivery is available on tens of millions of Amazon items and works with Same-Day, One-Day, Two-Day and Standard Shipping. They cannot deliver heavy or bulky items weighing more than 50 pounds.

Track your packages

If high-tech gadgets aren’t your thing, simply use your low-tech skills to track your packages. UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, Amazon and FedEx all offer tracking online.

Sign up for USPS Informed Delivery to automatically get a daily email containing scans of the mail being delivered and tracking numbers of expected packages.

UPS offers the My Choice program. and FedEx’s Delivery Manager also helps keep track of deliveries.

Tracking information for Amazon and many other online retailers’ shipments can be found in your order details.

Your special deliveries are at risk, and the porch pirates are sure to be marking their spots of opportunity this holiday season. Use these tips from Mutual Credit Union, and ensure your gifts are received by those you intend.

This story originally appeared on the Mutual Credit Union blog and is being reprinted here with permission.

Crime

Vicksburg police make a drug arrest, respond to auto theft and shots fired

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Clarence Lee, 64, arrested for possession of cocaine.

The Vicksburg Police Department has provided the following incident reports for Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019.

On Friday, Dec. 6, Vicksburg Police officers arrested Clarence Lee, 64, of Vicksburg, at a traffic stop. He is charged with possession of cocaine and will appear before Judge Angela Carpenter in Vicksburg Municipal Court today, Monday, Dec. 9.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, officers responded to the Circle K convenience store at 4150 Washington St. for a reported auto theft. The complainant said that someone stole his 2017 Dodge Challenger from the gas pump.

Officers also responded to two reports of shots fired. In both cases, officers found no signs of suspicious activity or evidence of shots being fired.

The first call was on Friday, Dec. 6, in the 2700 block of Alcorn Drive, and the second report was on Sunday, Dec 8, in the area of Ivy Circle and Springridge Drive.

 

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Crime

BREAKING: Shooting at Azalea Trace Apartments in Warren County

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UPDATE:

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said that the shooter is not in custody. Deputies are interviewing witnesses and processing the scene.

Original story:

A shooting at the Azalea Trace Apartments had law enforcement blocking Fisher Ferry Road in both directions for a short time.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Department is on the scene. Based on first reports, the shooter is also on the scene and may be in custody.

One person, a 17-year-old teenager, has been shot three, maybe four times with a small caliber handgun: once on left shoulder and twice on the left side. He also has a wound on the buttocks, which may be an exit wound.

The victim is being transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson by ambulance. Apparently, the emergency helicopter was not available. His condition is unknown.

Fisher Ferry Road has been reopened, but traffic is moving slowly in both directions.

The Vicksburg Daily News is on the scene to bring you updates as they happen. See our live video on Facebook.

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Crime

Four dead, eight injured in Pensacola shooting; shooter is Saudi national

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UPDATE:

At a news conference this afternoon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis identified the shooter as a member of the Saudi military receiving aviation training at the NAS. He had previously been identified as a second lieutenant in the Saudi air force.

Saudi King Salman called Pres. Donald Trump, who said the king told him “the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.”

No immediate connection to a terrorist threat has been made.

This is the second shooting at a U.S. Naval base this week. In Hawaii, a sailor shot three people on Wednesday, killing two before committing suicide.

UPDATE:

Officials at NAS Pensacola and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department have confirmed that four people have died, including the shooter. Eight people have been injured including two deputies, WEAR TV reports.

Original story:

Two individuals are dead, and several are wounded after a shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., this morning.

Among the dead is the suspected shooter.

The shooting was first reported about 7 a.m., Friday, Dec. 6, USA Today reported. By 7:39 a.m., the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department said the shooter was dead.

 

WEAR TV reports that multiple people were injured. At least seven people are in the care of an area Baptist Hospital. Other reports put the number injured at 11 or more.

The Vicksburg Daily News will update this story as details become clear.

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