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Bah! Humbug!

December 8, 2016
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

I'm pretty sure everyone is familiar with Dr. Seuss' "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas", a holiday tale of a green character who disliked Christmas, the bright lights, packages and celebration. To do away with Christmas, he stole everything in the village of Whoville - only to be amazed when the residents turned out on Christmas morning anyhow to gather and sing of the glory of the day. Needless to say, he had a change of heart and returned everything he'd taken for a happy ending.

Sadly, the Grinch is alive and well today - stealing packages during this holiday season. In a growing trend in our nation, more and more packages are being stolen off front porches of homes by modern-day Grinches - people who don't care if they are ruining someone else's happiness.

This isn't a new trend - package snatching has been going on for years, but grows exponentially at the holidays when package deliveries increase due to online shopping.

So what can be done to combat this latest scourge of the holidays? The most obvious is to make arrangements to have delivery services leave packages with a neighbor who can keep them until you arrive home, or to arrange for the package to be delivered to a job location.

Delivery services can be instructed not to leave a package, and instead, leave the recipient a notification of attempted delivery.

Another method is high-tech.

Now, when the package Grinch strikes, you can catch him or her in the act, live on video - and the camera doesn't lie.

Homeowners are turning to the latest generation in home security - cameras that can be set up by the homeowner, are relatively inexpensive, and record video that is triggered by motion detectors. And best of all, they connect to the internet and the work in the dark!

Such cameras can be set up to send an alert whenever they are triggered, and at the same time, they send a video feed to the owner's mobile device that the homeowner can view and, with some models and systems, works with a two-way intercom system connected to a doorbell.

Think of it - you're at work, wondering when that package bearing that set of DVD's of Life in Antarctica that you've been waiting for when your phone buzzes. You look and lo and behold, the delivery person is placing that package on your door step. You are excited beyond words, and start watching the clock until quitting time so you can get home and plop that DVD in the player and enjoy it.

About an hour later, your phone buzzes again. You look and this time, there is a stranger, standing on your front step, examining the package and looking around the neighborhood to see if anyone is watching.

If you've shopped wisely, you push a button on your phone and advise the would-be thief that it would be very wise to put the package back and vacate the area. Your voice is heard through a speaker connected to your doorbell that is tied into your camera.

The shock of hearing a human voice that may not be real hospitable prompts John Q. Stickyfingers to drop your package and leave for greener pastures.

When you arrive home, your package is safe and there is a low-life somewhere wondering just how you knew he wanted that DVD?set.

It seems sad that our society has slipped to this level, but people adapt to their situations. Let us just hope that package Grinches give our area a wide berth - because in our rural communities, our neighbors are just as good as any security camera system - and everyone knows everyone anyway!

 
 
 

 

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