August 8, 2022
The package thieves are apparently not content anymore with simply stealing our mail and packages, now they are stealing our mailboxes.
On Sunday morning, August 7, 2022, one of our neighbors on 500 noticed that his mailbox had been stolen from the side of his house. When he reviewed his surveillance tape, what he saw is the kind of thing you can’t even make up. First, at about 4:00 a.m., before the sun came up, two would-be thieves approached his vestibule. But his security lights popped on and the guys ran away. So far, so good. But then when the sun came up a few hours later around 6:30 a.m., another thief came along, rifled through his mailbox, and made the curious choice of spending a couple minutes detaching the mailbox and walking away with it! All while deftly carrying a Snapple iced tea.
What can we do about this kind of thing? Here are some suggestions.
(1) The Precinct has told us over and over and over - lock your doors. Apparently, so often when there’s a break in someone actually did not lock the door. It’s an easy mistake to make, especially when there are a lot of people coming and going, but one that you really need to try to keep from making. A lot of these package thieves unfortunately will try door handles as well. You do not want a package thief to become a burglar.
(2) Security cameras help. We created a camera map project. When there is a crime, we all pull our footage and we give it to the precinct and it really has helped. You can get images of a thief from different angles. If you need advice on putting in cameras, we have some neighbors who can give that to you. It’s much easier and cheaper than you think.
(3) Light the front of your building well. As one of the videos show, at least the first set of package thieves were deterred because our neighbor's security lights went on. A well lighted front is better than a dark one.
(4) For many great ideas on how to avoid package theft please read the Block Association’s Guide to Preventing Package Theft on the homepage of the website.
If anybody has ideas that are not yet in the booklet, let us know. The booklet can be updated. One of the ideas from the booklet is the buddy system. It works!
(5) Stay Connected. Get your neighbors to join the Block Association and stay in touch with the Block Association, if only through these emails. Please keep in mind that we have an wonderful block party coming up on September 10 and that is a great time to meet new people. For me, becoming connected to my neighbors kept me sane during the pandemic and the construction. We are never going to come up to with the solutions for these problems overnight and it is never going to be easy in such a big city with so much going on. But we need to stay connected and we need to keep trying.