VANCOUVER -- With B.C. residents urged to stay home to help flatten the COVID-19 curve, there’s also been an increase in online shopping. This means more parcels at front doors and, unfortunately, more chances for theft.

Linda Annis is the executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers. On Tuesday, she offered some tips for how to avoid having your parcels stolen from right outside your home.

“Over the holidays we put our guard down, unfortunately the crooks do not,” Annis told CTV News.

She said with so many deliveries being carried right now, “bad people, like the Grinch, are following delivery trucks. And as soon as those parcels are dropped off, they’re picking them up and taking them away.”

She suggests that if residents can’t be home to receive parcels, they should ask a neighbour to pick them up, or have them sent to a relative’s home.

Residents should also ensure that security cameras are working.

Once gifts are inside the home, there is still a chance someone could be eyeing them off.

“At night, make sure your blinds are pulled so that if someone is prowling around your property they don’t see your Christmas presents out, they can do a quick dash and grab,” Annis said.

She says at this time of year, people are watching homes for expensive items to steal.

“It’s a very serious problem – the Grinch is the last person you want to see in your neighbourhood,” Annis said.