Police: Tis the season for thefts, scams

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Tis the season for giving. But for some, it is the season for taking.

"Unfortunately, the Christmas holidays are very popular with scam artists and thieves," said Bartlesville Police Capt. Jay Hastings, saying recently Bartlesville has been the target of a national phone-based scam.

According to Capt. Jay Hastings, local citizens have reported calls from strangers saying relatives are in trouble and in need of funds.

One caller reportedly told a grandparent their grandson was in trouble and needed money. However, the grandparent became suspicious when the caller could not say the grandson's last name.

Hastings said the calls are part of a common scam now making its way around the country.

"Obviously, the stranger calling has some personal information about the victim and tries to get them to send money to help a relative," said Hastings, explaining that citizens should be cautious of phone calls they do not recognize and should never give out personal information or send money.

"There are other ways to verify that relatives are in need of assistance."

Hastings also warns shoppers to watch items left in their vehicles and to be alert for anybody who appears to be watching them as they stow their purchase in their vehicles.

Additionally, police are warning residents to take measures to protect package deliveries as thefts of packages left by U.S. Mail and UPS deliveries or on the rise.

According to Tulsa police spokesperson Jill Roberson, police on Monday arrested one woman in a Tulsa neighborhood when a resident saw her taking a package from a neighbor's doorstep.

She recommended either having somebody at the home pick up the package at the time of its delivery or have the package sent to a post office box or work address.

Police said any suspicious activity should be reported immediately.

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