Police advise hiding packages during holidays

Newport Beach police are urging residents to hide their holiday packages in cars and at homes from potential thieves.

Property crimes account for 90% of all crimes committed in Newport Beach, and, of those, 37% involve theft from vehicles, the Police Department said in a news release. In many cases, car doors are unlocked so police are encouraging people to leave packages out of sight and secure cars and houses.

To prepare for the holidays, Newport Beach police are expected to conduct additional drunk driving checkpoints and patrols, and will be focusing on curfews of minors during the holiday season, the department said.

Last year, Newport Beach police arrested Melanie Kathleen Astin, 43, of Newport Beach, for following delivery trucks and stealing packages off doorsteps. Astin was sentenced to three years formal probation, 180 days in jail and restitution in connection with the theft, according to court records.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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