It’s Time to be Smart and Act Against Package Theft in NYC

By  //  July 30, 2021

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Package thefts are becoming a major problem with the people in NYC, who choose online shopping for all big and small needs. Adding to the event are subsequent lockdowns. Staying indoors did not stop people from shopping for what they need; instead, it has resulted in a shift in buying patterns.

An increasing number of people in NYC and around the world have started buying a pen, food, clothes, grocery items, something as big as a refrigerator and everything in between from websites.

More and more packages are getting delivered to the doorstep with utmost convenience. Simultaneously, more and more packages are going missing from the doorstep or on the way to delivery. Yes! This is the ideal time for the porch pirates or package thieves to steal away those paid packages in the absence of a legitimate doorman. 

We shouldn’t be surprised to know what is adding fuel to the fire. It is the fact that people are choosing prepaid orders because that gives them better deals on purchase through credit cards and helps them make a decent saving on every order.

Moreover, the “Buy first, credit later” attitude has also been a driving factor in reducing the cash on delivery orders. This is all making package thefts a good market for thieves. 

With online shopping reaching its all-time high during the pandemic, this is expected to go higher with the arrival of festive seasons. You may also type on Google “Stolen packages”, you will find NYC ranking 4th in the reported cases of stolen packages.

Addressing the explosion in such cases, the shopping platforms made it compulsory for the receiver to sign on their receipt upon receiving the package. But all in vain. Forging signatures seemed no big deal for the thieves. Resultantly, the count of victims of package stealing has reached approximately 5.6 million in NYC, summing to a total of $5.5 billion worth of items in the heist until last year. 

Contactless delivery or the absence of the receiver is a golden opportunity for the packet robbers. But cribbing over the situation is clearly not helping. The time has arrived when we will have to take some preventive measures, like the following:

1. Receive delivery from the Post Office:

If you enter the delivery address as the address of your nearby post office, then there will be an assured responsible receiving of your parcel. You may later go to the post office to collect your parcel with convenience. If the post office provides this service, it is one of the safest options to go for. 

2. CCTV camera on the door front:

If you are not able to receive the packet immediately, then you can keep a box outside the door, where the delivery boy can simply drop the parcel and leave. The CCTV camera will keep an eye on the parcel and ensure its safety from package thieves. You must have the camera activated on your mobile phones so that you can even monitor the safety of your package remotely until you reach home.

3. OTP on receiving:

Another alternative could also be OTP, a one-time password that can be randomly generated and sent only to the legitimate receiver. Only when the receiver of the parcel gives that OTP to the delivery man, the status of the product is changed to “delivered”.

This will be a good two-way authentication process, where the receiver will be aware of the arrival of the parcel and will acknowledge receiving it by sharing the OTP. On the other hand, once the status is changed to deliver, the company will know that the product has reached its respective buyer. 

4. Receive it at your workplace/other known active places:

If you believe that most of the time you will not be available at the address you have mentioned for the delivery of your parcel, then you must change the address. You can receive it at your work address or at any other place where you will be able to receive it actively. This will definitely reduce the chances of your parcel getting stolen away.

5. Try surrogate receiving

We can simply not convince our neighbours daily to accept the deliveries in our absence. Reacting to the gravity of the situation, various startups work on this concept. Package storage centres like Stowfly take up the responsibility to receive your package, and they notify you upon receiving your package. They ensure the safety of the parcel. You will have to pay them a reasonable amount as small as $15 for the monthly subscription. If not monthly, you may even pay them per use. 

Next, when you are free to collect your package from their location, you will find your package safe and intact.  

Other resorts that could be opted for are choosing the option of self-pickup if convenient, tip a newspaper guy or nearby shopkeeper to receive the package in your absence, or pay with cash on delivery. You may be excited to receive your latest shopping parcel, but no one else will be as excited.

The most upvoted solution is to rent package storage in NYC near you to keep safe from package stolen that takes care of your expensive and awaited parcels. Also, to reduce the likelihood of the thieves stealing your parcel, keep tracking your shipment online and try to speak with the delivery agent the day he/she is expected to arrive. It’s time we act smarter in front of these smart package thieves!