Your article on package thefts hit home for us–literally. We have been the victims of package thefts on multiple occasions and the problem seems to be increasing. I blame the major delivery services–USPS, UPS and Fed Ex–for making it easy for thieves to help themselves. Although the police chief said that most of the thefts occur in multi-unit apartment buildings, we own a single-family home with a front door that faces the street. If no one is home, more and more often the couriers will choose to leave a delivery outside rather than take it back with them and try again the next day.
When a delivery person leaves a package in plain view like that, only three short steps separate our purchases from anyone who wants to take something that isn’t theirs. And what’s worse is sometimes we ARE actually home at the time, waiting for the delivery, and they STILL choose to leave packages outside rather than ring the doorbell and wait the 30 seconds it would take for us to get it. Not long ago I happened to be leaving the house and as I opened my door a delivery man was standing outside leaving. He had just left a large, very visible box on our stoop and was heading back to his truck. I asked him why he didn’t ring the doorbell. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sorry, dude.”
I have called the three main services to complain and I’ve also called some of the large companies we buy goods from, including Amazon. Their response is always something like, “It’s up to the discretion of the courier.” While Amazon and some of the others will resend the stolen item or give a refund, it’s a huge inconvenience and an invasion of privacy to have to deal with stolen merchandise. This epidemic of thefts from multi-resident dwellings and private homes is out of control (not just in Hoboken but it is definitely easier here) and neither merchants nor the delivery services seem to care. If I treated people that way in my business I’d be unemployed.