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Missoula Police Department offers up holiday safety advice

Missoula Police Department Cruiser
Posted at 9:04 AM, Dec 14, 2022

MISSOULA - We’ve been telling you about how to stay safe during the holidays for quite some time.

According to, 49 million Americans have had at least one package stolen in the past 12 months. And closer to home, 18 % of Montanans reported a package stolen from their porch this year. And closer to home, 18 % of Montanans reported a package stolen from their porch this year.

MTN News talked with the Missoula Police Department to learn about what crimes they’re seeing most this holiday season.

“This time of year, we do see crimes of opportunity. When I say crimes of opportunity, I’m talking about we’ll see thefts of packages from porches,” Missoula Police Department spokeswoman Lydia Arnold said. “Also if you’ve gone and done some holiday shopping, and you have visible gifts inside your vehicle, we have seen some vehicle break-ins and thefts from vehicles."

As crimes of opportunity present themselves this holiday season, Arnold noted that some crimes happen year-round, but just might look a little different around the holidays.

“Scams are always going on, it’s just a matter of what the scam looks like. So, we will see things that are holiday related at this time of year. So, we’re always encouraging people not to give information online. If they’re getting a phone call where things don't feel right, don't provide information. Never provide personal information, financial information,” Arnold advised.

Arnold also says people should always be aware of their surroundings and avoid leaving items visible in their vehicles. Additionally, people who have items delivered to their homes when they are not home should make arrangements to have them picked up quickly.

The Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency reports the top four ways for people to protect themselves online are:

  1. Get multi-factor authentication set up on online accounts. It makes it much harder to get hacked.
  2. Make sure software is up to date on all your devices. Consider turning on automatic updates.
  3. Think before clicking. Most successful cyber-attacks start with an email scam.
  4. Use strong passwords. They may be harder to remember, so consider using a password manager to generate and store unique passwords.