Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Downside of Cyber Monday

All those treasures you ordered between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?  The parcels and boxes that your friends and relatives will send to you during the holidays?

Thieves know.  And they're waiting to grab them before you even know they're there.

A reader reminded us that "tis the season" for package thefts.

We've run too many items over the years about thieves who gain entry into multi-unit buildings and leave with their arms full of your packages.  Based on the previous years' reports, here are some precautions from those who've been victims on how not to make your gifts someone else's.  Share it with your neighbors.  Don't let the Grinch steal your holiday from you!
  • Never (never never never never) buzz anyone in unless you're expecting them.  It's always amazing how thieves can ring ten bells and at least one resident will buzz them in without knowing who they are.  In at least one case, it was an organized theft ring that got into buildings that way.
  • If someone rings your bell to say they're from UPS or FedEx, meet them downstairs.  Once thieves have seen packages sitting in the lobby, it only takes seconds for them to grab them and get out, while you're wondering where the delivery guy you just buzzed in is.
  • If you get a delivery, go get it right away.  Kevin Liu, currently on trial for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of packages, allegedly used to follow the FedEx and UPS trucks down the street and grab what the delivery guys left.
  • Is there a neighbor who works from home or is around during the day?  Ask them to accept any package deliveries for the building (and slip them a Starbuck's gift card for their trouble).
  • Be creative -- is there somewhere besides your lobby where packages can be left, out of sight of thieves looking for an opportunity?
  • It costs a couple bucks more, but require a signature on any packages delivered to you or to others.  Yes, it's a hassle, but much less of one than trying to get the contents of your package returned to you.
There are some bad people out there; don't make it easy for them to victimize you.

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