The Mountain View Police Department is asking that residents be on alert for "Holiday Grinches" on the prowl.
"It's that time again," a recent post on the MVPD's blog reads. "There are people running round Mountain View trying to ruing the holidays by stealing your packages."
The blog post warned that people steal packages during the day, not just at night; thieves often trail delivery vehicles, waiting until the moment is opportune; they sometimes work in pairs, with one driving and another snatching packages; and, finally that "it doesn't matter where you live," because thieves like these "know no boundaries."
The department advises that residents ordering items online or having items delivered by mail should require a signature upon delivery, sign up for online tracking of packages, and consider having packages delivered to a trusted neighbor or to the workplace, if they know they won't be home to accept packages.
The post also explained what to do if a package is stolen. "It never hurts to report stolen packages," the post read -- to the police and to the organization that shipped the package.