Now this isn’t to say that packages aren’t stolen from doorsteps during other times of the year but since the holidays are approaching, more and more people are shopping online and having items delivered, so I think it will do good to remind folks to stay vigilant when expecting packages.
Recently in November, a package thief was apprehended in the Woodridge/Brookland area, off of the 2100 block of Kearny Street NE. From MPD:
“In response to community concerns, members of the Fifth District Vice Unit conducted an operation on today’s date [Friday] to identify and apprehend persons involved in the theft of mail packages in PSAs 504 and 503. The operation was a success. Officers observed an individual in possession of a stolen package and effected an arrest. The theft occurred in the 2100 block of Kearny Street, Northeast. The stolen package and its contents were documented and returned to the rightful owner.
Please help us in our fight against mail package theft by reviewing the following tips.
Here’s what you can do to protect your mail from thieves:
1. Get a tracking number from the shipping company.
2. Require a signature with the delivery.
3. If you won’t be home, have the company leave the package at a local shipping center.
4. Set up an obvious surveillance camera with your home security system.
5. If UPS is making the delivery, get onboard with their U.P.S. My Choice program, which sends an e-mail or text message to the customer just prior to package arrival; it will be rerouted if nobody is home.
6. Insist that the driver leave the package in an inconspicuous area.
7. Have the driver leave the package at your apartment’s or condo’s office.
8. Retrieve your mail as quickly as possible after delivery.
9. If you can’t retrieve it daily, have a trusted person get it.
10. If you’re traveling, have the post office hold your mail until you get back.
11. Never received mail you were expecting? Contact the sender to see if it was sent. If so, file a complaint with the post office. This also applies if the contents of mail are missing.
12. Bring your checks or money orders to a postal collection box (personally give it to a postal worker) for the delivery driver to pick up; don’t leave checks or money orders in your home mailbox.
13. Never leave packages outside your door.
14. Alert recipients of your packages as to when they are to expect them.
15. Insure any packages you send.
16. Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other’s mailboxes (as well as homes). If you observe a mail thief at work, call the local police immediately, and then call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.
Along with notifying MPD, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service advises the following:
If you believe your mail was stolen, report it immediately to your local postmaster or nearest Postal Inspector. You’ll be asked to file a formal complaint using PS Form 2016, Mail Theft and Vandalism Complaint. By analyzing information collected from the form, Postal Inspectors may determine whether your problem is isolated or part of a larger mail theft problem in your neighborhood–and it may help Postal Inspectors locate and apprehend the thieves.
Consult with your local postmaster for the most up-to-date regulations on mailboxes, including the availability of locked centralized or curbside mailboxes.
If you feel that you are a victim of a crime involving the mail, submit an on-line complaint at Report Mail Theft“ (source: Popville.com)
Or… you could make the criminals pay with a bit of humor on your part, such as this victim did on 9th St NE when she was tired of them stealing her “crap”:
Police are also looking for a package thief caught on video along 8th Street NE (between K and I Streets). See that video here.