West Hartford Police Capt. Michael Perruccio encourages any measures members of the community can take to combat larceny, especially at this time of year when package theft is much more common.
By Ronni Newton
The AAA office in West Hartford, located at 815 Farmington Ave., has become the latest “Amazon Hub,” offering shoppers using the online platform a safe and secure place as a delivery location for packages.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Amy Parmenter, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Greater Hartford, said of the new relationship between AAA and Amazon. “AAA is all about safety, and this is a way to increase safety for residents who already have enough on their mind.”
The hub – a group of lockers of various sizes – is located just inside the retail area of the AAA office in West Hartford. Packages that are shipped to that location can be picked up Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Amazon customers can choose delivery to the AAA location as an option when placing their order. Amazon will provide pick-up instructions, and some shipments may be eligible for counter pick-up, which is also available directly from associates in the AAA retail store in West Hartford.
The lockers are available to AAA members as well as non-members, Parmenter said.
“Anything that’s going to help deter larceny is certainly a good thing,” West Hartford Police Capt. Michael Perruccio said. “And if there’s no extra charge for it, that’s even better.”
The lockers are available only for Amazon orders – including Amazon Prime – but not other online shipments.
Perruccio said West Hartford Police suggest residents find alternatives to having packages delivered to their homes when no one is going to be there. In addition to the option of using lockers if available, it may be possible to arrange to have a package delivered to a neighbor who will be home or to require a signature rather than just leaving a package at the door. He also suggested having packages delivered to your place of employment – provided it’s okay with the employer.
Having packages left out on the porch is risky, Perruccio said, particularly around the holidays when online shopping – and porch piracy – increase. “We see, time-after-time, the there are people who are making their living [as porch pirates]. … This is a repeat thing, and every year it happens.”
Most recently, police have received reports of a package taken from a home on Boulevard by someone on a bicycle on Dec. 4, multiple packages were taken from a home on South Quaker Lane on Dec. 1, and packages were reported stolen on Nov. 28.
Convenience, like having merchandise delivered to the door, can also lead to increased risk. Perruccio also urged residents not to warm up their cars in the driveway.
At this time of year, reports of cars stolen while warming up also increase.
“I’d rather go to work in a cold car than have a thief drive off in my warm one,” Perruccio said.
In addition to the newly-installed lockers at AAA, Amazon lockers are also available in both Whole Foods stores in West Hartford, at Santander Bank at 1010 Farmington Ave., and at Westfarms.
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