GLADSTONE, Ore. (KOIN) — Elf Cathy is now working at the Gladstone Police Department.
In a unique effort to thwart porch pirates during this holiday season, Gladstone police set up a program where Gladstone residents can get their packages delivered to the police department — and they put one of their own elves in charge.
This is the 3rd year the Gladstone PD has offered this program. The fact it’s small town makes this possible.
“It’s a program we started about 3 years ago to have packages delivered to the police department for security purposes,” Gladstone Officer Eric Graves told KOIN 6 News. “That way people don’t have to worry about the Grinch stealing their packages from their porch.”
The program runs through December 24, he said. “We’ll take them up until then so people can get those presents under the tree.”
Gladstone resident Amanda Boharski, who was with her 4-year-old daughter Ella, said she does get nervous about having packages delivered.
“I actually today just got a text from my neighbor that she went out and put them inside the screen door for us,” she told KOIN 6 News. “I mean, it’s a nice neighborhood, too, but I always want to have my guard up a little bit.”
She likes the program from the Gladstone PD. “It’s right here, the town’s small enough. I think that’s a really good idea.”
Gladstone residents just need to mail Elf Cathy — email@example.com — and they’ll set up the details, then call you when your package is ready for pick up.
Packages need to be delivered to:
Santa’s Squad – GPD
535 Portland Avenue
Gladstone, Oregon 97027
People with special circumstances, such as those with disabilities or the elderly, can get their packages delivered by a Gladstone officer.
Regardless of where you live, though, there are certain things you can do to keep your packages safe.
The Oregon City Police Department provided a list of tips on their Facebook page on easy things you can do to keep your packages secure:
- Pick up your packages promptly
- Have your packages delivered to where you work
- Ask a neighbor to hold on to your packages until you get home
- Ship packages to a relative’s house that will be there for the delivery
- Require a signature before the package can be dropped off
- Track your packages through the sender
- Request specific delivery times
- Get a camera monitoring system
- Send your packages to a secure place
If you do have a package stolen, Gladstone Officer Eric Graves has this advice.
“The biggest thing is we want to know if a package has been stolen. First thing you need to do is contact the carrier (that) you believe your package has been stolen. And we want to know as well, so you contact us and file a report,” he said. “That way we know if there’s been an increase in package theft so we can focus our patrol a little differently.”
Also keep an eye out for anything unusual in your neighborhood. Thieves will sometimes follow a delivery truck. Others will pose as a carrier but will take a package instead of dropping one off.
“Our main goal,” Officer Graves said, “is to make sure everybody is safe and secure and this time of year especially. We want people to have their presents they expected to be delivered underneath the tree for that special morning.”