UNION, NJ – As the holiday count-down begins, residents face a choice between the convenience of on-line shopping and the risk of letting expensive goods sit out in the open for anyone to snatch.

These ‘crimes of opportunity’ are increasingly common and Union police are offering the following tips to keep your packages safe:

·       Ask for a tracking number to know when your package is delivered. Track your packages and try to be home at the time of delivery. When you're placing an order, try to schedule shipment for a day you expect to be home, if possible.

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·       Not sure if you'll be available for your tracked package's delivery? Schedule your delivery beforehand to set a time you know you'll be home.

·       Request a signature for delivery. This will ensure the package won't be left at your door without you there to sign and bring it safely inside.

·       Want your package placed at the back door or behind a porch plant instead? Leave a note specifying what less conspicuous spot you would like it left. Some delivery services let you specify delivery instructions on where you want your deliveries to be dropped off.

·       Have your packages delivered somewhere else. If you know you won't be home when your package will be delivered, try to opt for delivering it to a neighbor who is home or to your workplace, if allowed. Ask neighbors who may be home to watch for deliveries.

·       Another option is to deliver your packages to a retail store or locker, where they'll stay safe until you can pick them up at your convenience. Many retailers will let you place online orders and then pick up your items in the store.

·       Insure valuable items.