In case you missed it over the weekend, we had a UPS package stolen from our porch on Friday. The package was full of sweet, wonderful delicious bacon. This is a crime of opportunity on the rise and it has arrived in Wichita. Following my post, “The Grinch Who Stole Bacon,” KWCH Channel 12 News asked to interview me and ran the following piece as the lead story on Friday:
Criminals Stealing Packages Off Doorsteps
by Scott Evans
We’re approaching the busiest time of the year for shipping companies. If you haven’t already seen the packages on your doorstep, that will change as we get closer to the holidays.
“With it being the holiday season it seems like people are out looking for easy crimes like this,” said Ryan Gates.
Gates is talking about someone stealing a package right off his doorstep. Thursday sometime between 5:30 and 6:30pm, someone stole the package full of bacon and sausage and cheddar cheese and pancakes.
The gift from a smokehouse in upstate New York was worth about $100.
“I don’t think they had any clue what was inside the box, but this time of year, you could be picking up something from an electronic store that could be worth a lot of money, you could be picking up clothing or in my case you could be picking up sweet, wonderful delicious bacon,” said Gates.
Gates has never had this happen before, and those living in the area were also surprised.
“We’ve just never had an issue with it and in this neighborhood neighbors really look out for each other and keep an eye out,” said Joy Marlin who doesn’t live far from Gates.
“We’ve had stuff left out overnight and it’s been fine. I’m an Amazon junky, so I have stuff shipped all the time,” said Nicole Long.
Delivery companies usually deliver items during business hours, but it’s through these daylight hours and really right at dusk that these criminals can strike.
“Obviously I’m upset with the people that did this, but I’m more upset with UPS for just leaving a package on the front doorstep,” said Gates.
He’s reached out to UPS and was told to contact the shipper, but didn’t or couldn’t provide more help than that.
The smokehouse that sent the meat agreed to send a replacement at no cost. This time, Gates says he’ll have it shipped to his office.
And that’s one of the suggestions police have, if you know you won’t be home, work with the shipper to deliver it to your work or to a neighbor. If that doesn’t work, talk to a neighbor and have them keep an eye out for it.
For expensive items, it might be worth it to pay for signature confirmation.
For the full story and video, click here.
All bacon puns and hamfoolery aside, it is a serious crime that luckily for me turned out to only be perishable goods from Oscar’s Smokehouse in Warrensburg, NY. However, criminals across the United States have been targeting UPS trucks…following their routes and looking to see what packages get left on doorsteps when no one is home. What if it had been electronics? A gift for the boys from a relative? A part for a car? Any of the things we now shop for online instead of conventional location-based shopping. Online shopping has become the norm and shipping has not evolved with it. Seriously, who leaves a package outside…in the rain…with the description written on the outside?
Amazon is trying to launch drones that fly to your house and deliver goods, but that still relies on you being home at the time of delivery. With the lack of restrictions on drones it is only a matter of time before criminals design pirate drones to attack Amazon’s drones and steal your goods right off your porch…or maybe even in the skies. It could be all out drone warfare in the skies with your new FitBit’s fate in the balance. Oh the humanity!
The real solution here is that UPS (also FedEx and USPS) need a better system for delivery when you are not home. Not every shipper is going to pay for signature required, but a little common sense goes a long way for the delivery driver, and with this crime growing more and more by the day…doing nothing is not a solution. In the meantime (i.e. the foreseeable future) here are some tips on what you can do to avoid becoming a victim of this crime:
- Talk to your UPS, FedEx, and Post Office Delivery reps about what to do in the event you are not home to receive a package.
- Talk to your neighbors and ask them to keep a look out for packages when you are not home.
- Designate a hidden area for packages to go when delivered – if possible make it lockable.
- Any deliveries you schedule, have delivered to your office or when you know you are home.
- Tell relatives to send packages to your office (if possible) instead of your home.
- Install a camera on your porch that records movement.
- Report suspicious activity to your police department’s non-emergency number.
As for me? I ensured all packages were being delivered to my office moving forward but I can’t control what friends and family do. My camera is secretly watching, though I suspect there is nothing left to see. I have made sure the exterior of my house is locked up and secure. I have contacted my delivery companies and drivers. Last, but certainly not least, I have designed a simple trap. Nothing crazy…but if you decide to steal from me again you are in for a surprise that will have me laughing for a while! Happy Holidays!!!
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