90,000 Packages Disappear Daily in N.Y.C. Is Help on the Way?

Package theft has also soared in cities like Denver and Washington. The increase has frustrated shoppers and led to creative measures for thwarting thieves.

Comments: 240

  1. First world problem if ever there was one.

  2. @Marcus G Stealing is more common in third world countries. If this is becoming an issue in the US, it just means we are moving towards a third world type economy, inequality growing.

  3. @Marcus G Actually -- a first world would not have theft

  4. @Marcus G You obviously have no idea how big the delivery business is; relied on by people and businesses of all types and sizes. Saying "First world problem" might make you feel better but it sadly just shows how out of touch you are.

  5. Liberals (of whom I once thought I was until NYTs readers "set me straight") won't like this, but the solution is obvious: More severe penalties. Behavior is lawful. Behavior that is rewarded is repeated. Behavior that is punished, severely, will not.

  6. Murder is punishable by death in Texas, which also has one of the highest murder rates in the nation despite using the death penalty heavily. Deterrence alone isn’t enough, active measures to prevent crime like Amazon lockers are probably more effective.

  7. @Travelers Nice in theory but not much evidence in practice that severe punishment for petty theft works, and usually there are significant societal distortions - think chopping off hands, deportation to Australia, the poor house, stop & frisk, 3 strikes, death row, etc. Show me a color-blind class-blind society and then maybe just maybe your fine theory might work in practice.

  8. @Travelers You have to catch them to punish them. How do you propose doing that?

  9. I send all my packages to my relatives across town who live in the suburbs. Only once out of the hundred or so orders I have made have one of them been stolen. I honestly can't imagine living in a massive housing complex and expecting my order to make it inside my home but adding an additional $5+ per package using these companies mentioned certainly doesn't sound appealing either. There should be an option to flag your address for UPS, USPS, etc and have them drop off deliveries at their nearest stores instead.

  10. @JM I have seen the option to pick up the order at the local store. Third party seller ordered online through Walmart allowed me to collect the package at the local Walmart. Very convenient.

  11. Security cameras are not helpful. Package thieves, knowing there are cameras about, tend to hide their faces beneath hoodies, and in any event, how would the cops even begin to find them? One thing's for sure: USPS and UPS need to ring those doorbells harder. I've waited home all day for packages and then -- thankfully --found them on my porch when I've opened the door. (As in, where the heck is the delivery truck?)

  12. @B. If you had a security camera you would see them leaving the package(s).

  13. @B. Yes, this is very true. We had a case where a man was wearing a baseball hat with large visor covered by a hood. He walked about our lobby with his head down and we could not get an identifiable image of him from two cameras.

  14. @B. Four legged doorbell works great for me.

  15. Um, wait a minute. "Amazon has launched a real-time tracking service so shoppers can arrange to be home when a delivery arrives." So now we are supposed to rearrange our lives to conform to Amazon's delivery schedules? Excuse me, but it would be easier for me to go to a store when I am free than to try to conform to Amazon's driver's schedules. This is the problem with monopolies - they low ball the costs and inconveniences to bankrupt their competitors, then they start putting the screws to the customers. No thanks.

  16. Or just stop buying from Amazon.

  17. @Matthew Definitely, and especially when you read about the way they treat their employees- disposable product. It's disgraceful. Serfdom rules.

  18. @Les You apparently do not know the difference between Amazon requiring you to be there and merely offering you the best opportunity to be there.

  19. I don’t use amazon anymore. I spend less if I go to a store. And it’s more fun.

  20. Wouldn't life be simpler if these folks just bought their products at a brick-and-mortar store? Order online, wait for days, have it delivered to your office, hope your boss doesn't notice, drag it home on the subway, dispose of all the packaging...honestly, a quick trip to a store seems so much easier in comparison.

  21. @Sam As if the brick-and-mortar stores actually carried what I wanted to buy. NONE of the last $300 I spent was available at any store within driving distance from me. Why waste gas and time searching when I can get it sent to me for a few clicks and some $$

  22. @Sam I agree with Robert, inventory levels are often scant. In addition, you need to consider those who cannot & most likely should not drive. My mother, 90 years old, relies on deliveries for a multitude of essentials.

  23. @Sam Selection is much better in the online world than it ever was or ever can be in B&M stores. Your local hardware store may be convenient if you want something they carry, but how many brands/styles of tool belts do they carry? Amazon alone has hundreds of tool belts focused on different tasks (drywall, carpentry, electrical, gardening, etc) at many price points as well as individual components (such as just a utility knife pocket).

  24. Article says: "About 15 percent of all deliveries in urban areas fail to reach customers because of package theft and other less frequent issues." However, this appears not be correct. The source it links to says: "The rate of failed first delivery attempts is as high as 15% in some cities..." Failed first delivery attempt is not the same thing as stolen or mis-directed packages!

  25. @Phil Precisely

  26. @Phil Thanks for tracking that down. The number seemed impossible to me - it just wasn't consistent with a functioning market. The Times really ought to treat this as requiring a correction.

  27. The reporter here seems not to have done his homework or, at the very least, overlooked a critical point, which is: If a package goes missing, the sender is responsible, period, end of story. Ask any merchant who's gotten stuck. This is why Amazon and others give refunds: The law gives them no choice. Amazing that this key point isn't mentioned in this story, which encourages folks to pay for services they don't need and go to lengths that aren't necessary. That Amazon continues shipping in the way that it does suggests that package theft may not be as big an issue as we are led to believe. If 20 percent of packages went missing, it's difficult to believe that Amazon would keep leaving packages unattended on porches. I'm guessing that if a customer has a history of packages disappearing, Amazon would either require a signature or start leaving packages at the post office for pick up. I say this as a long-time seller on eBay. I've sold more than 1,000 things over the years, shipping stuff as far away as Mongolia (really), and not once has a package gone missing. Don't believe the hype, and even if you do, don't panic, because you're covered.

  28. @August West Unfortunately, this isn't true. Sellers are only liable until the packages reaches the buyer. If tracked shipping shows that a package was delivered, this is great evidence for a shipper, assuming you to try to enforce whatever laws you might be thinking of (see your state's version of the UCC). But also, most sellers have some sort of boilerplate contract language (browse wrap, click wrap) that takes the liability off of them, so that's relevant here, too. Unless you can prove the package never arrived to you, the seller is not liable for anything.

  29. @August West Not true. I have had stuff stolen that sellers did not replace because they can show that Fedex/UPS says they "delivered it."

  30. One is not necessarily covered. USPS reported delivering two small Ebay packages to my building on the same day except only one was logged in by our receiving room and that was the item that had been sent insured. The USPS carrier had two packages - one insured, one not - she reported delivering both at the same time, but only the insured package was logged into the building’s system just moments after USPS reported both being delivered. The USPS fill-in delivery person stole the second uninsured package and falsely and dishonestly reported having delivered it. Our receiving office is staffed by people who’ve worked here, in one case, nearly 40 years; I know they didn’t steal it. Because the package was uninsured, USPS couldn’t have cared less and repeatedly deflected to their claim that it had been delivered. When I told the disinterested and unhelpful USPS person the package could only have been stolen by her subordinate, she got huffy. Well, what happened then? In the end, the sender maintained it had been delivered and didn’t feel responsible for my loss. The post office maintained it had been delivered and wasn’t insured so they weren’t responsible. Be aware that all USPS has to do is scan your package at your address - there is no proof they ever remove it from their truck and actually deliver it.

  31. Ah, this could be the resurgence of the US Postal Service. Get a Post Office Box, have your parcels delivered to that box. USPS now has agreements with at least FedEx and UPS, allowing them to deliver to local Post Offices. Is it a bother to run to the Post Office? Yes. Is it a bigger pain to have your parcels ripped off? Yes.

  32. @fafield That might be an option if my local post office was open past 5:00--they close long before I get to leave work! The package lobby is locked after that.

  33. @fafield In the past year my local post office has lost three packages addressed to me by handing over packages to people who stole the delivery notice from my mailbox. They are supposed to require ID, but don't ask for it. Their attitude is "not my problem". I only order merchandise that will be delivered by fed ex and UPS to my home when I know I will be there.

  34. @fafield I stopped ordering on Amazon because it was faster to go to the local store and buy/pick-up the items than it was to deal with failed delivery attempts and then to have to go the post office.

  35. This makes me so grateful for the building I lived in for 14 years on 23rd St — packages would amass in the lobby, especially around the holidays, including visibly expensive items such as stereos and stand mixers and kids bikes. Never once did anyone complain that an item was stolen. It seems to some a small thing, to swipe something that a company will surely replace anyway. But it destroys trust and causes inconvenience and expense to all involved.

  36. Sometimes its other delivery people stealing the packages- the security camera in my building’s lobby proved this.

  37. One problem seems to be that the shippers wish to hide the extent of the problem of porch theft. For data-driven Amazon it would be very simple to set up a secure police department portal where, say, SFPD could get real-time block-by-block data on stolen packages having to be replaced, and respond accordingly to hot spots.

  38. Great idea! Maybe Amazon would even start paying their fair shares of taxes for a public service like that.

  39. "In New York, the police do not break out stolen packages into a separate category." One wonders how the NYPD cannot deal with something that it does not measure. Can it be that the nation's largest local law enforcement agency is not reacting to a growing threat -- 90,000 incidents per year if this piece if accurate? The LAPD and other agencies have initiated package sting operations with tracking devices and targeted field operations. I'd bet that the NYPD has similar strategies, but reporters Hu and Haag left us in the dark on this.

  40. @Mack I'd rather the police focus real threats, not your latest impulse buy from Amazon. If you can't provide a secure location for your headphones from Amazon, then pit you socks and shoes on and buy them from a store directly.

  41. @Mack I can't speak for the entire force, but the NYPD in my former precinct in Washington Heights simply did not care. Even if they caught the thief, they were rarely held for long & then let go to steal some more. Luckily, I had a thoughtful neighbor who always brought packages to the neighbors on our floor if he saw them in the lobby & I did the same when I could. I only had a package stolen once - the thief must have been disappointed to find that it was only handknitting yarn!

  42. @Mack -- It's 90,000 PER DAY!

  43. Another problem is that the drivers are too darned busy. We're in a relatively quiet residential area. The deliveries start and finish when it's dark. Sometimes Amazon Prime and UPS trucks are stuffed into the same driveway. We've had packages for our neighbors on both sides left on our doorstep, and once found a box for someone a half mile away left around back by the garage. And it will only get worse.

  44. What percentage of these packages contain items that could easily be purchased locally? I would guess it’s very high. And yes, yes, yes Amazon and other online retailers often have select merchandise that is best shopped for online. But I know too many people having toothpaste and socks delivered through the mail.

  45. @CT Your comment makes sense unless you are elderly, handicapped, live in a cold/snowy climate or don't own a car. Amazon deliveries work well for the groups I just mentioned.

  46. What about the elderly or infirm that can’t make it out ?

  47. @CT Perhaps they have less time than you do. Maybe they're handicapped. Maybe they are old and frail. Don't begrudge others because you choose to not to shop online.

  48. So, the advice for New York City is to pay $5 per delivery and then walk, possibly several blocks, to pick up it up. How convenient. We need to leave our windows open and let a drone fly in to deliver the package.

  49. @akamai There was a time when walking several blocks to pick something up was considered convenient. Now it's such a drag. You have to walk past all those vacant storefronts...

  50. @akamai Then next the thieves will fly THEIR drone in your open window to steal the delivery.

  51. A bodega or other business near a big apartment complex could bring prospective customers into their stores by accepting residents packages. Depending on the demand they could also charge a nominal fee. A win for both. Also a sting operation by the NYPD near areas with an ongoing problem or pattern of pirating could go a long way to keep the numbers down.

  52. More and more Amazon and Walmart are using "marginal" delivery services that, in-fact, report packages to have been delivered without ever making any attempt to do so. These companies seem to be the lowest-cost shipper, and in my own experience, the most famous of them, sometimes referred to online as "the most hated company on the Internet (I doubt it is)," has independent contractors who seem to earn their living by stealing the parcels. Amazon doesn't care -- in several cases it has all-but-acknowledged it knows the purported delivery company specializes in "stolen-in-transit" services. This company, unlike UPS or FedEx, refuses to send emails to the customer to confirm delivery has occurred. At least, when I get an email from UPS or FedEx, I can go look in the building's lobby (it's a large building's untended lobby) to find my package -- right where UPS or FedEx abandoned it. But with UPS or FedEx, most of the time at least they genuinely have entered the building with the package.

  53. @Auntie Mame My experience with Amazon is quite different. However, I am a Prime member. After I order online, I receive emails from Amazon throughout the purchase and delivery process.

  54. @Bokmal Prime member? So am I, and it made not a bit of difference. I've never known Amazon itself to use email notifications *throughout* the delivery process. They will notify me when a too-often phantom delivery is made. But UPS, the Post Office and FedEx, upon request, will send such notices and I always request this; sometimes it works, sometimes not -- except for the generally reliable UPS. But neither I nor anyone I know has been able to secure such service from the marginal, independent-contractors-companies (whose delivery-persons are apparently sometimes paid under one dollar per delivery in NYC).

  55. Rent the smallest size UPS box you can and have packages delivered there. In fact use it for receiving ALL mail, unless you're fond of giving complete strangers your physical address. Me: 20 years, no packages swiped. And the box serves as a useful address for my "second office". And the USPS doesn't have to deal with my dogs.

  56. @Wine Country Dude: "unless you're fond of giving complete strangers your physical address"? Just how paranoid are you out there?

  57. Canada Post has a great solution (for now): the FLEX Address. Sign-up is free and one gets a personal address at a local post office. No PO Box required. When the parcel arrives, you get an email and 10 days to pick up the parcel. Of course, some of the post office locations are small and it's probably only a matter of time until they're getting overwhelmed, but I've been using my FLEX address for two years now without issue.

  58. I do a lot of online shopping (in Canada). Canada Post has come up with some solutions for postal delivery. Flex-delivery, where the parcel can be redirected to a postal office or store with postal services. The other, brilliant, solution is a the Parcel Locker, which is now installed in the lobby of my apartment building. In the residents mailbox a key labeled with a letter is left, indicating the appropriate locker compartment. Remove the parcel and place the used key into the return slot. Visa, from what overheard at the beauty parlor, will make reimbursement for a package stolen on a front porch. The woman said her boyfriend had his parcel stolen from his front porch. and Visa paid for it. In my case I inadvertently damaged a pair of pants when opening a package and Visa reimbursed me. That was good of them and good PR.

  59. Happily, I work for an employer who doesn't whine about "too many" packages being delivered, hence, I get all my packages.

  60. @Tim Since when are employers required to use up their space for packages? Most mail rooms are set up for receiving business mail, not your 55" TV or multitude of Amazon packages.

  61. $5 additional for someone to receive one package? That is a hefty fee. Seems like a more economical solution is to simply go out and buy it at a brick and mortar store.

  62. Perhaps someone could launch some sort of secure location for purchasing goods in-person? A storage area of a kind, or "store" for short. This store could be managed by a rotating staff of employees. I'll be rich!

  63. @Thad that would mean that people would need to put their socks and shoes on to go there.

  64. @Thad The staff and rent would be a heavy cost.

  65. @Thad Years ago, Sears & Roebuck catalog store (remember them?) used to have small retail outlets scattered around the country, mostly in rural areas. You couldn't buy any actual merchandise in the "store"; only order from the catalog, or pick up an order. Maybe the online retailers (especially Amazon) need to beef up their network of hub lockers and hub "stores" so there's one every few blocks. There's definitely a market for it.

  66. Just as we move towards ending mass incarceration, we move towards 10 years in jail for stealing packages. While I agree there should be punishment for this crime, we need to realize that we can’t punish our way out of every problem. A year or two in jail seems reasonable, this is a bit much.

  67. @Ken My thoughts exactly. It's frightening that people here think that stealing packages warrants that much incarceration.

  68. @Ken Especially when you consider white collar criminals almost never do any time; if anything, they just collect a severance package and get another high paying job, with a bonus!

  69. @Left Coast Career criminals belong in prison.

  70. It's not just buildings without doormen where things go missing. A year ago I bought a new computer for work. The computer manufacturer sent it, but after having it built (2 weeks) and then waiting 10 days for delivery, when the tracking information said it was delivered and I still had no computer, I called the company. They said that FedEx had a signature. And they did. But not from my building. It was someone at another building who had an illegible signature and stole my computer. The manufacturer sent me a replacement, but two weeks later asked for the return of the other computer (the one delivered elsewhere). One year later they were STILL asking for the return of the computer. Even after I explained what happened. My only consolation is that it was just the computer that was stolen and it had no software installed.

  71. $5 a delivery!? Well done... well done.

  72. @Zach Buying from Amazon is not so cheap now, is it?

  73. @Zach Capitalism begets capitalism!

  74. The mob or gangs since time began. It's not personal, just business.

  75. I have long been against arming our Postal Service workers. But now might be the time. I figure that USPS employees would be best served by Desert Eagle .45 caliber sidearms, with drone support for the satchel cart walkers, and water cannons on the trucks. Take back our packages! (TBOP)

  76. What kind of low life steals a package from a persons door? What kind of city allows over 90,000 packages to be stolen each and every day and does absolutely nothing about it? What kind of society accepts this?

  77. @Kurt Pickard It’s called criminal justice reform. Unless you murder someone, there’s a good chance you won’t be arrested or prosecuted here in NYC. Especially starting January 1.

  78. What kind of low life steals a package from a persons door? What kind of city allows over 90,000 packages to be stolen each and every day and does absolutely nothing about it? What kind of society accepts this?

  79. @Kurt Pickard What would you have the city do? Got a solution?

  80. @Kurt Pickard Obviously you have never lived in New York City. NYC is the kind of society that accepts this. Its a jaded, cynical and indifferent culture. Everyone knows this.

  81. @PeterW: Speak for yourself! I was born in NYC and have lived here my entire life and in the neiY neighborhoods I've lived in, we did not have a preponderance of jaded, cynical, indifferent people. In fact we usually had very helpful, caring & considerate neighbors. Maybe you're in the wrong 'hood.

  82. I'll bet many stolen packages are turning up on eBay and other resale sites. Shame.

  83. Crime pays. This is why the police are needed.

  84. I would like to know where the 90,000 number comes from. I dont doubt that theft is running wild but that seems high.

  85. @Scott D it's only 246 per day in a metro area of 8 million. seems low to me.

  86. @Scott D it's only 246 per day in a metro area of 8 million. seems low to me. sorry misread the headline. i thought it was 90k per year.

  87. I don’t live in an area where package theft is a major problem, but they are regularly misdelivered. Both UPS and USPS leave us packages for our neighbors, and ours show up days late after going to the wrong place and the neighbor finally notices and gets around to delivering it. How much “theft” is just bad delivery?

  88. @Missing Excellent point. In my area, the worst offender is USPS, be it package delivery or just my regular mail.

  89. @Bokmal In my fifty-some years in earth, both in the US and the UK, from a rural village to a brownstone in a "bad neighborhood" in Chicago, I've only had two bad incidences with postal deliveries. A few odd misplaced items, i.e. I get the same catalog as the guy next door and sometimes he gets mine and I get his, but no big whoop. But FedEX managed to lose an entire car engine at their warehouse, permanently.

  90. All our local Whole Foods stores have lockers to store Amazon parcels for pickup.

  91. Include into the equation organized crime. They LOVE the fact that we love Amazon. Hijacking retail and then fencing the items is in their blood. The fact that there's confusion in the process only makes it that much easier for them.

  92. We could end this problem tonight. But it will require more police enforcement. Incarceration rates will shoot up. People will go to jail. We do want these career criminals who are stealing arrested...right? We have the technology. We could link the security cameras to the local police departments. Put GPS tracking devices in packages. Couple this with facial recognition technology & these guys are doing 1-5 years in state prison. Crimes like this would be a thing of the past. What's not to like? Oh, wait the "woke" crowd says it's too intrusive, too Orwellian. Not for me. I just want the crime problem in my city addressed. Facial recognition technology would go a long way towards making that much more difficult for these thieves to steal. San Francisco's recent opposition to facial recognition is like a big advertisement for them to keep doing it. Property crimes have become a huge problem in this city. FBI data shows SF has one of the highest per-capita rates of property crimes in the U.S. tallying 6,168 crimes per 100,000 people. That’s about 148 burglaries, car thefts & package grabs per day. Per Day! There’s a small group of people affecting the vast majority of those numbers. The police are working with prosecutors to zero in on the most prolific offenders. We shouldn't make it harder to catch these thieves. I don't know which is worse. The criminals or the fanatics who make it impossible to arrest them. Does this absurd opposition to FR really protect the public?

  93. @Bill Brown I think white collar crime and lobbying by corporations for massive tax breaks hurt people more than package thefts and are where we should be placing our resources on deterrents. Let technology and innovation fix the package theft problem.

  94. @Kathy So let the thieving and stealing of our mail & packages continue???? Is that what you are advocating??? Wow. This is why progressives will NEVER under any circumstances gain political traction in this country. We don't have to wait for technology and innovation to fix the package theft problem. We have something that can stop it tonight. Arrests, Convictions, and Jail. That's a pretty strong deterrent. Surely you have no problem with the people stealing 90,000 packages a day going to jail??? Of course, you don't. FYI it's not the responsibility of the local police to address white-collar crime and lobbying by corporations for massive tax breaks. We have something called the Justice Department that is charged with preventing white-collar crime. Tax breaks are the responsibility of our elected officials. Your comment makes no sense.

  95. You could consider moving to where people appear to be more honest: where I live.

  96. @DaveD I agree DaveD. Many of us Wisconsinites are a pretty solid crop of good folks with honest and hard working values sprinkled with integrity and compassion for others.

  97. @Dave D. and @Marge Keller: We have a pretty good number of those folks here in NYC also, but you don't hear as much about them because people like Ms. Cruz are not seeking attention. It's all about the neighborhood and often the specific building. And you'd be quite wrong to think that NYC has more "bad" people per 10,000 than Wisconsin does. In fact we have a great many "good folks with honest and hard working values" here who have "integrity and compassion for others." Sorry to inform you that Wisconsin doesn't have a lock on nice people and helpful neighbors!

  98. @L Yes. I see acts of kindness almost every day in this great city of ours. A few bad apples do not represent us.

  99. Is this really a surprise? Where I live, the police don’t bother to find the thieves even when there’s security footage or a photo of the person’s face. NextDoor gets all fired up about it, but that’s about it. Is there a penalty for theft in this city? After dealing with a half-dozen car break-ins, a house break-in, and more stolen packages than I can count, I do start to wonder if law and order exists here. Texas has the right idea.

  100. I blame the shipping companies mostly. Here in Chicago, I've had packages that required signatures left in the building atrium. (and stolen) I've had other packages left in the alleyway behind the building. They don't care--they just want to dump the packages and get on with the next delivery. Good luck complaining--the runarounds they give you get you nowhere.

  101. I am not sure if I lose more deliveries to outright theft or to postal workers who deliver to the wrong address.

  102. @Igor : God, yes. The postal service doesn't even bother delivering to the correct street anymore, let alone the correct street number. But I guess there's a silver lining: I've gotten to know many of my neighbors as we walk packages and mail back and forth to their correct houses every evening.

  103. I have a house with an enclosed front porch, where everything is left inside, even the US Mail. That's nice. My only problem is getting to the packages before my wife sees them and complains that I get too much stuff.

  104. I know of a company called iDoorBox which makes a lockbox like contraption in which packages can be left by the delivery folks. It works really well. It’s a smart solution for the people of NYC who are losing packages to thieves. Google it.

  105. Big kudos to Miriam Cruz. People like her restore our faith in humanity.

  106. Here's a partial solution: get a small PO Box. The Postal Service will accept UPS & FedEx deliveries if the packages are sent to the street address of a local Post Office, plus the box number as if it's a room, as in: 123 Main Street, #20. USPS shipments can of course go right to the box. Pick up when you're ready & use tracking to tell you when the packages have arrived. Don't know if this works with the growing small package delivery services Amazon (among others) now sometimes use, but ask at your local PO.

  107. @Anonymouse - Amazon already offers a locker pickup option that works unless you are ordering something incredibly large. These are usually nearby. I once ordered some grow lights and didn't want everyone in the building (including the landlady) to know what grandpa was doing so I sent them to the locker and then just walked down and got them. No extra charge plus I got my steps in!

  108. Amazon has a truly enormous and well-priced selection of almost everything which, if it is damaged or the wrong size or whatever, can be returned without a hassle or a long drive through traffic to the mall. Lost or stolen items are replaced by Amazon. Also, most bricks and mortar stores of any size lack knowledgeable sales personnel—or any visible personnel on the store floor at all. If there are sales personnel available they often have to compete for available sales registers. I buy many dozens of items from Amazon every year, saving me many dozens of trips to various stores, all of which are at least 10-20 miles round-trip from my home. I am “green,” so I count this as one of many benefits of shopping Amazon.

  109. @Mon Ray - I once ordered and had to return a package to Amazon. The nearest drop off was quite a distance and the worst part was that I ended up having to walk past the place where I met my ex-wife. That might be why I don't shop Amazon. :) Meanwhile, I can walk or bike to just about everything I need under the sun at a brick and mortar store.

  110. @Mon Ray Green? How about all those delivery trucks gassing up the air to get your packages delivered? How about all that excess packaging material? Amazon generates more cardboard than anyone. How "green" are the devices you use to place your orders, which are made from toxic heavy metals and combustible lithium batteries, also very toxic, all very difficult to recycle. Amazon just changed their returned policy and now requires you to go to designated locations such as Kohl's to receive returns. If you have to go to the department store to return something, why not just shop there? Not so green after all.

  111. @ mon ray Wow, this sounds like a placed comment as well by Amazon. Do you know the too generous return policy on Amazon is driving up cost of goods on Amazon. I’m a seller and people return items that they have used, broken and so on. it’s horrible, so sellers have no choice but to inflate prices to cover returns that are more than dubious.

  112. American Challenge: The MAGATS (Make America Great Again Trump Supporters) could run with this issue and lead a revival of virtue and civic pride. America should be a bastion of honesty and good-neighborly behavior, a country that prides itself on strong, incorruptible behavior among all citizens. "We should have a goal of never losing a single package, just because of the enlightened vigilance of our neighbors."

  113. @Public Takeover - First they'd have to find some of each, virtue and civic pride, for themselves. They seem to have given up any they may have had before with their support for lawlessness and attacks upon our Constitution.

  114. I had a $600 solar panel kit disappear during UPS shipping. After 3 $400 batteries were broken in shipment, I tracked down the problem and watched a UPS drive drop my 128 pound battery off the back of his truck, instead of lifting it onto a hand truck. The solar company had no problem with almost $2,000 in losses - they replaced everything and simple said they were insured. So much for "free shipping".

  115. @Bill Wolfe FedEx "lost" an entire automobile engine. Not parts, not a piece of, a whole engine. Rare model, nearly irreplaceable. I used the tracking function they provided and after it shipped from Ohio, it just disappeared at the Indiana warehouse that was the next stop. After weeks of emails, phone calls and fruitless conversations with their staff, my wife finally managed to find another one online, but you can bet I didn't use FedEx again! BTW, FedEx never apologized or offered anything beyond the insurance payout for the engine. Anyone willing to believe it's just floating around their warehouse still, eight years later? My guess is that some employee recognized it and stole it or dropped it off a forklift and damaged it and dumped it somewhere to hide the problem. Also, I check on line from time to time to see if another one has become available for purchase and not one has in right years. I was lucky my wife found the one she did.

  116. Retailers and delivery companies don't care about thefts. They pass the cost onto the customers. It's the cost of doing business. Do you really think these companies are losing money as the rack up billions in dollars of profits? Granted they do not pay taxes.

  117. 90% of packages delivered in NYC don't require a signature and the delivery companies are pleased with this because they no longer go door to door to deliver parcels. They now dumped them with the doorman or in an unattended lobby. They now deliver pkgs. at an increased volume and are gladly willing to pay for lost merchandise because of the increased revenue.

  118. We recently had someone who found their way into our locked building and then made away with packages left in the lobby. So, I told the landlady that since I am in the building more than anyone else other than one homebound neighbor, I would be willing to go down to the lobby once or twice a day, grab all of the packages, and put a sticky on everyone's door that I have their package. No one can ever find the landlady but they can always find me. Perhaps each neighborhood/building has similarly retired folks such as myself who are more than willing to receive the packages for people? The only drawback is that I will chat your ear off when you come to pickup that package:)

  119. Not helped by the fact that UPS (among others) regularly dumps packages outside my home without even ringing the bell. I can't even count the number of times I've walked out and found packages just sitting there--including (recently) a new chair worth hundreds of dollars. They seem to just assume that companies will make good on the thefts stemming from their laziness and mistakes.

  120. I'm not surprised to hear this - I have watched from my window as both Fedex AND US postal workers have placed packages at my outside door and walked away without even the courtesy of ringing my doorbell to give me a fighting chance to retrieve my packages before thieves swipe them. I understand they want to save time and not wait for the recipient to come to the door, but really, not even a heads up that there's been a delivery?

  121. @mahajoma Neither FedEx nor the postal service have any reason to care. They're not responsible if a package is swiped, the sender is. This said, while delivery folks no longer ring my doorbell, almost always, my cell phone rings/vibrates as soon as a package arrives. Call it the 21st Century doorbell.

  122. @mahajoma They're under time pressure; they're being monitored.

  123. @August West , I wish I got a cell phone alert!

  124. The solution is simple. Buy from local businesses and carry the package home. Many small businesses will order what they don’t carry in stock and also assemble an order before you arrive. In many cases I’d like to see or try on what I buy before I pay for it. And returning merchandise bought online for credit or replacement has its own problems. I live in a rural area outside a small town, so sometimes online buying is the best way to go, but I try to buy locally first. Theft is not a concern here.

  125. But if I want old 1930s sheet music -- which, admittedly, I have found in the antiques barn in Arundel, Maine, and elsewhere -- I need to find it in, say, eBay. And it needs to be delivered. What I'd like is for young men to pay attention in school, go into a trade if they don't want or can't hack more academic schooling, and not feel entitled to steal other people's stuff. My grandfather opened clams for a living, for heaven's sake. These package thieves think they're smart and special.

  126. @Heart If you say it fast enough you might make a few feel guilty. The reason I order for delivery is because what I want is not locally available. The Miami-South Florida area has been well known for many years for not having almost anything other than general dreck. A recent example: A replacement battery for a Makita power driver. The Makita site listed a number of local vendors, none of which had even heard of the battery I needed. The only vendor that instantly offered the item for delivery in a few days: Amazon. Back in the 80s, earlier, I used to read the ads in left and right margins of The New Yorker and wish some place, any place, within a hundred miles had any of what I found appealing. Always took a trip to New York or Chicago to get whatever it was. Today, ordering on line is a lot cheaper than tripping to get what no one locally has or even cares to take the time to help one by ordering.

  127. @Heart Yes, buy from local businesses. I needed 6 flame shaped light bulbs of the same type for a chandelier. Loew's ? nothing. Local Hardware Warehouse - only 2 in stock. Time lost (excluding gas, car, aggravation) - one full afternoon. Back to Amazon, delivered to my door in 2 days. End of story.

  128. Amazon's Hub Lockers are great. I use them all the time. To those that say "just use a local merchant", so, you are saying I should shop at my local Walmart instead? Where they pay the employees minimum wage and force them to enroll in Obamacare for their medical insurance? Or at another local monopoly like CVS or Walgreens? Times have changed--for better or for worse, in most cases, the mom and pop stores are gone. I do buy local for groceries and specialty items, but for a lot of things, Amazon seems like the best of my options.

  129. @Bryan So you do not want to go to Walmart but are willing to order from Amazon, the company that treats the warehouse workers like machines with productivity quota and where injury rates are much higher than national average rates in warehouses. And the drivers are contract workers being pushed hard with the same delivery quota. I think you will order less from Amazon if you read some of the investigative reports right in this paper.

  130. @Bryan Enrollment in Obamacare is not the problem, they suggest they use Medicaid, which is the problem. Fwiw, your local Walmart pays local taxes, and helps pay for local roads, library, etc and employs local workers. It is not ALL evil, or ALL good.

  131. Bryan, I live in San Francisco, too. You know darn well there is no Walmart in SF, if you do actually live here. And there are local businesses all over the City that cater to just about every need you could have, drug store needs included.

  132. I am always anxious when I order something. I live in a row house and try to be home, which I am a lot anyway, when I expect a package. Signature required means nothing. The package is left on the stoop, sometimes in plain view of the street when it could be left out of view without any extra effort. The delivery person NEVER rings the bell or knocks. The package is just dropped, so I try to stay in the front room and check the door often. I don’t order all that much, but I haven’t had anything stolen except for a 3 month supply of my prescription drugs, for which the online pharmacy would not only not replace without charge, but counted it as an extra prescription refill requiring me to visit my doctor 3 months sooner than necessary. I hope someone out there is enjoying having their cholesterol and blood pressure lowered.

  133. @Richard B AND Even if it’s a small package, a small padded envelope for instance, containing a neatly coiled circular knitting needle, for instance, there is no reason to believe that it would be delivered through the oversized mail slot in my front door. In the rain. Just saying.

  134. @Richard B Cholesterol medication (statins) is a waste of time. They don’t make a difference, and cholesterol is made and regulated by your body. (See David Diamond on You Tube). I reduce blood pressure with daily cod liver oil vitamin D and magnesium L arganine helps too, as well as regular exercise.

  135. This is a major issue at my building too. Someone's food delivery for the week was even stolen. Low. We don't have a doorman. About 50% of my packages were getting stolen so I now have them sent to local UPS store, and put a note on the mailbox asking to not leave USPS packages out. I now spend a lot of time waiting in lines to pick up parcels, and carrying them long distances home. I've cut back online shopping dramatically because of it, and if local shops had everything I needed and I had more time I'd fully go back to shopping in person. Far preferable.

  136. @Lleone "I now spend a lot of time waiting in lines to pick up parcels, and carrying them long distances home." Oh my gosh, you poor thing! How horrible that must be for you. Jeez, will nobody think of the suffering consumer who now has to wait in a line in order to get the tube of toothpaste he had shipped wrapped in a whole roll of bubble wrap, then plastic and then shipped in a box that would fit a microwave? All this hand wringing around people's inconveniences around shipping is just embarrassing.

  137. @Brooklyn Dog Geek some of the elderly tenants in my building actually CAN'T go to a UPS store and carry packages because they're on walkers or can't walk at all. Having their toothpaste and toilet paper stolen is cruel and inconsiderate because they CAN'T go to the corner and pick it up themselves.

  138. @Lleone "I now spend a lot of time waiting in lines to pick up parcels, and carrying them long distances home. " #FirstWorldProblems. Seriously, boo hoo. You have to wait in line for something that you bought, and actually CARRY it home, and you're expecting... what, sympathy for this terrible injustice inflicted upon you?

  139. In an attempt to protect our packages, Our landlord had parcel lockers installed in the lobby of our locked building and signed up all the tenants for notification when a parcel was placed in the locker. Just one problem, it did not work! The delivery personnel who are supposed to place the packages in the lockers, just don't. Instead the parcels are dumped on the floor. Its actually very simple why, the delivery personnel don't bother to place the packages in the lockers. The problem is the shippers, amazon, target, etc. demand the cheapest possible delivery cost and the delivery personnel are expected to deliver packages in the absolute minimum time. Therefor, they skip placing the packages in the lockers to save time. The landlord paid for the lockers and now knows he got hosed by the parcel locker supplier. In a locked building, the packages should be delivered to the apartment door of the recipient, but the shippers don't care.

  140. @Sam Can you file a complaint that packages were dumped on the floor. instead of the secured locker?

  141. @Sam EXACTLY - DELIVER TO THE APARTMENT DOOR. May still get stolen - but much less likely. I return ALL shipment to Amazon [RTS] unless delivered to my door OR report them 'not received'. Amazon 'forced me' to file a police report, which is fine for one'sy-two'sy but I am not doing that all the time. By and large I have largely 'boycott' Amazon -- the carriers who DELIVER to the door in my building are UPS USPS and FedEx. It is the Amazon Logistics deliveries that get left helter-skelter.

  142. @Sam Yes, the shippers (Amazon usually) employ folks who aren't very bright who can't use deductive thinking. It shouldn't be an a new idea for the delivery folks to lock the screen door behind them if the box to fit between the doors though. How dense can they be?

  143. In Chicago you can have your Amazon packages delivered to Whole Foods or Amazon delivery center. For Fed-Ex the boxes will go to Walgreens. UPS will deliver to a UPS store, Bodega, or CVS etc. This was suppose to be easy....

  144. I receive an alert whenever my Amazon package has been “delivered.” Unfortunately, some of their delivery people know how to game the system and occasionally make it appear that a package has been delivered on time when it actually arrives the next day. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence

  145. Only 90-thousand? Sounds low given the vast area of opportunity.

  146. UPS. It is to laugh. They used to leave the packages in our little entryway, behind the stormdoor away from prying eyes. But in the interest of speed, this October they started leaving packages on the step. IN all weather, in front of the world, waiting for anyone to stroll by and take it. People home waiting to sign, and instead they deliver to the CVS. I refuse to order anymore from any place who uses UPS.

  147. This is the difference between the US Postal Service and UPS and FedEx. The USPS actually has it’s own police force to pursue theft and mail fraud. The penalties are not light. Another thing is that you may have bought and paid for your mailbox but in reality it belongs to the USPS.

  148. @Paulie Postal police are also responsible for failing to catch the millions of tons of fentanyl flowing into the country from Asia. What makes you think that they will do anything about random junkies stealing packages, from consumers? The only way the package theft issue will be resolved is when a rich persons package is stolen, then politicians will decry the horrific issue and dedicate billions to ensuring that rich peoples packages are not stolen.

  149. I have been hit by "porch pirates" and gave the police footage from our security cameras showing the young man on his skateboard and his pickup driving accomplice just following the UPS truck. They didn't or couldn't or wouldn't address it. Now I sign up for text notifications so as soon as the package is at my door, I get it or ask a neighbor if I'm away. I love what Ms. Cruz does for her neighbors but her sweet charitable acts should not be needed!

  150. I just went looking for a very simple item this weekend: a new case for my new iPod Touch. The old case won't fit because this iPod is larger than the old one I had for nearly 7 years. I may be forced to order a case from Amazon or someone else. Why? Because the stores I checked, Best Buy among them, don't carry iPod cases. iPhone cases won't work. It's another way Amazon has ruined shopping in a bricks and mortar store. I don't want the case delivered to my door. I want to walk into the store, look at potential cases, hold my new iPod next to them, and then, if there are more than 2 that I like, make a choice and walk out with my new case. I prefer shopping that way to going online and praying that what I pick lives up to what I see online.

  151. I started having packages sent to a local UPS store years ago, because I don't have a doorman. The one time I sent a package home because it was heavy, it was stolen. My company has also banned the acceptance of packages for employees--which is kind of ironic, since our long hours are one reason we can't be home to pick up packages. It's worth the money I pay for my UPS box, but my heart goes out to people who don't have a free or low-cost option nearby.

  152. It is a huge problem in Albuquerque! We have Ring cameras, we follow the mail person just like the package thieves do, we are networking our camera, so someone or another who is home can monitor theft! But what about the poorer people who can’t afford cameras? And students who order text books that are cheaper on Amazon? It is just not fair!

  153. I grew up in New York City, without question the theft capital of the country (if not the universe). According the the article, 90,000 packages go missing EVERY DAY? That number is almost impossible to get your head around and absolutely dwarfs the theft statistics from any other city in the U.S. What a weird way to live (and I’m talking about the victims and potential victims, not the thieves.)

  154. My complex in Chicago has added staffed package receiving rooms. When your package arrives, you get a text or email with a numeric code. To get into the receiving room, you enter that code. Packages are sorted by apartment number on shelves or in bins. Oversized packages are stacked against the walls. Everything is labeled and there are security cameras. If you need help, the staff can help you. They also provide some basic trolleys for you to get heavier packages - like mattresses - up to your apartment. My complex gets hundreds of packages daily, so the management had no choice but to go with this system.

  155. I wonder how this ties in to the brazen in-store hijackings at HomeDepot & Loews?

  156. "Around the country, more than 1.7 million packages are stolen or go missing every day" In all seriousness, how can people say we incarcerate too many people?

  157. Sounds like the credit card industry. The cost of doing business!

  158. Maybe delivery truck should make videos of vehicles that seem to be following them around.

  159. Take a pause and read all the comments. So far, not one is addressing the crooks. Writers blame Amazon, FedEx, UPS, Post Office, lazy buyers, etc....but not once about the skyrocketing numbers of thieves. When did we slide so far down that this is the thinking process?

  160. @Matt "but not once about the skyrocketing numbers of thieves....When did we slide so far down that this is the thinking process?" This is the generation that almost everyone as kids stole music and video on line. This is a natural progression.

  161. I’ve found that, in my neighborhood at least, package theft occurs most often when third party “last mile” companies such as Lasership deliver packages outside a building’s secure area. Never once have I had a package stolen that was delivered by a mainstream carrier. Lasership, every time. My favorite was when they handed my package over to my non-existent doorman “Tito”. I had so much stolen Amazon agreed to put a note on my account to never ship via a “last mile” service provider. While there are instances of theft outside these parameters for sure, I would be interested to see how many of these occur as a result of a carrier leaving the items in an unsecured area.

  162. This seems to be an ideal problem for IBM's Crypto Anchors to address. A small nonremovable crypto anchor stamp or tape is placed on each package by Amazon or UPS/FedEx. The anchor relays any locational changes (GPS) and/or changes to the package. The package and its contents could be completely trackable as they are feeding information into the delivery blockchain. I believe that IBM should be offering this Crypto Anchor system soon.

  163. If all else fails, you could consider the extreme measure of buying your stuff in real physical shops, with the added benefit of keeping them from going extinct.

  164. “About 15 percent of all deliveries in urban areas fail to reach customers” Tell me again what it is that makes online shopping so attractive?

  165. Add into the mix some people who don't know their correct address! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't just had this experience myself: In the past few months, we've had multiple packages delivered to our building that were actually meant for an address directly across the street. The problem turned out to be that the intended recipients (who were just moving in) were SURE (actually, beyond sure!) that OUR address was THEIR address. And they were persistently stupid about it! They were also very lucky that we're honest people who went out of our way to get the packages into their hands. PS: Do you think they said "thank you"? Take a guess!

  166. Wouldn't it be simpler just to buy some of that stuff at the store? I work at a big box store and I can't believe the stuff that people order online--dishes, Tide detergent, food, batteries, etc.

  167. I know a very busy person who regularly has a package of toilet paper, all boxed up, delivered so they never run out. The marvels of the 21st century! Really!

  168. In the burbs most of our deliveries go on the front porch - rain or shine Saturday temp USPS carrier drops them in the driveway inviting theft. wordwordword....

  169. Another problem is FedEx using contractors for some deliveries, which is why my 15 lb package with a vacuum cleaner got delivered to someone 2 miles away while I got her o.5oz gift card “package”.

  170. Living in NYC sure is great.

  171. @Benito It is amazing!!!

  172. Yep, agree... Love The Times, but cannot imagine living there...

  173. @Benito In defense of the Big Apple, I have to ask: so how come I never see any of those "package thieves" videos on YouTube from NYC? I've seen bunches from Texas, pardner. I expect that's why the Lone Star State introduced new legislation about it. You sure don't outlaw things that don't happen, do ya, Hoss?

  174. Texas has the right idea, they made it a specific crime with a lot of jail time. South Carolina is making it a felony. It is amazing how brazen these people are. They are seen on house cameras casually walking up and stealing peoples' packages. It is not hard to identify the culprits. Their activity is suspicious, by entering a building and walking out soon after with a package. The police should have a special task force to crack down and these low lives. They deserve a long sentence. People should not have to spend money to protect what is rightfully theirs.

  175. Unfortunately when I lived in Brooklyn and used the Dumbo postal station and Cadman Plaza I had many packages missing, and I believe it was the postal workers themselves. Since shipping from upstate New York my packages go where they need to go without a hitch. If you have ever experienced the Cadman Plaza post office, you know it’s a nightmare at holiday time.

  176. Well. This is an interesting article. Living in a rural area in a single family home I order extensively online and have not had one incidence [so far] of theft. I guess being retired and with helpful neighbors helps. I suspect the tracking software used by the shipping companies could assist customers in knowing when their packages arrive.

  177. The people who are paid to deliver the packages are underpaid and overworked and their performance is monitored. They are unable to ring doorbells and wait for people to answer so they leave packages in lobbies. My husband bought a new phone and Apple required a signature for delivery; it was left in the lobby despite the fact that he was waiting less than 20 ft away. And don't get me started on the carbon footprint of all those trucks that are delivering all those packages. Jeff Bezos can distance the company from the environmental consequences of his business by hiring contractors. He is a pox on society. And our government supports his behavior.

  178. @Judith What is more environmentally friendly--one truck delivering hundreds of packages or hundreds of people using their cars to travel some distance to buy something? Think for a minute...

  179. I hope the many NYT readers who regularly post recommendations to boycott Amazon stuck to their principles and were out in the cold rain today for their shopping, skipping Cyber Monday and using mass transit. bikes or walking, not pretending their individual cars, taxis and car services pollute less than individual delivery trucks eliminating the need for hundreds of such car trips. Of course, the disabled, elderly, immunocompromised and holders of 2 jobs rarely have the luxury of forsaking delivery.

  180. Hey, to each her own. I sincerely try to shop Very locally, if I can’t, I have my very own Nerd to order STUFF from Amazon. He was an original prime member, and is also partially owned and operated by Apple. I think it’s great for those that can’t get out for shopping, or don’t have time or transportation. Cheers.

  181. @Phyliss Dalmatian Exactly. Happy holidays

  182. @DSM14 I shopped plenty of other websites besides Amazon today. Amazon is not the only place to shop. I refuse to use Prime on Amazon and will support the third party sellers there who ship directly instead of using Amazon warehouses!

  183. Miriam Cruz is a rock star on some levels, but for those of us closer to her age bracket realize that she is doing what so many of us have done our entire life - looking out for our neighbors and watching out for them and their possessions. That type of consideration and kindness seems to be going out of style in many areas. Thank goodness Ms. Cruz and the NYT continue to highlight that good people doing good and thoughtful things for others NEVER goes out of fashion. Great article and great reminder of a happy story.

  184. Absolutely. They should ALL Tip her at least five or ten dollars, she’s retired. Absolutely INSIST that she accept it, for later use OR for her Family now. It’s extremely important to have surplus funds, especially after retirement. I’ve done the same for some of my Neighbors, the ones that aren’t terrified of my Dogs. No tips accepted, but Dog treats appreciated. Seriously.

  185. @Phyliss Dalmatian Yep - spot on PD. My husband takes his snow blower and clears our neighbor's sidewalks and driveways after a snow storm. He's no spring chicken but he takes his time while working and I meet him every 30 minutes with a fresh of hot coffee and to check on his energy and stamina. The neighbors offer him money but he refuses because he could be in their position tomorrow and frankly thinks it wrong. But he never turns down a homemake coffee cake or apple pie that is offered as a thank you. Thoughtful and kind neighbors helping each other in their own way.

  186. I wish we were neighbors.

  187. Why don't you try buying less stuff.

  188. Amazon really doesn’t care whether you get your package or not. It cares that the deliverer complete the daily round efficiently. It cares about any factor that slows them down and raises their costs.

  189. @Xoxarle Replacing stolen packages doesn’t raise their costs?

  190. Porch Pirate, it's a flourishing profession in San Francisco

  191. Besides theft from lobbies and stoops, surely many of the missing packages are caused by careless delivery agents, who overload their push-carts, as shown in the photo accompanying the article. Packages not only must occasionally fall off of these carts, but other packages must occasionally go missing when the delivery agents leave the carts or the packages unattended on the sidewalk while inside another building.

  192. Our lobby has very tall windows and used to be a nice, sunny space. We had so many thefts - around 150-200 by now - that the managers finally installed shades that completely cover the windows so at least all the booty isn't visible from the street. That helped. Now there are only thefts when people who have been buzzed in to make other deliveries see their opportunity. The volume of packages is incredible; I should have bought stock in cardboard boxes. The only thing I have delivered anymore is cat litter; it's too heavy to steal!

  193. Time to check the weather forecast. Once in 2018 and once this year, packages sent through UPS never arrived. The circumstances were the same. For South Florida, cold (cool) rainy day - rain all day, unrelenting, wind-blown, miserable driving conditions. (Took me two hours to make what is normally a 20-minute trip.) The package that was supposed to have been delivered to my front porch never made it. The web tracking gave a time. A time that I was at home. Car out front. The first time, no problem. A mistake. The second time - a year later, after I sent a message that once again, a driver simply found it too demanding to make that delivery late in the day. A supervisor became involved. A manager. The driver that has served our neighborhood for more than 10 years no longer speaks. No one ever blamed him - on bad traffic days, a different driver generally makes deliveries. When you complain and make your case, the carrier frequently tries to make you the culprit. Just hang in there and don't give up.

  194. I like one day delivery but...I could easily go pick the package up at a central location, sited close to my house...A "neighborhood pickup center" if you will. Amazon needs to come up some alternatives

  195. @Harley Leiber They already have. It's called Amazon Locker and is available at most 7-11s, at least in L.A. I'm sure that they have locker locations at NYC chain drugstores or the like as well.

  196. In all the years I lived in pre-gentrified Crown Heights, I can recall one instance of one neighbor on the block not getting a package. We didn’t live in a crime-free utopia by any means. We just looked out for one another. Maybe because we knew each other, whether or not we would have chosen to be friends had we not been neighbors. This year my landlord got gentrification fever, and I found my displaced self in a bougie part of Bed Stuy for a stretch with, em, not originally from the neighborhood (white) neighbors who wouldn’t make eye contact or return a hello. And it was nearly impossible to get a package if you weren’t home and sitting outside waiting for it. I never understood why my gentrifying neighbors thought their quality of life improved when their every social interaction was curated. Whatever original community was left after the new wave arrived was just a nuisance to them. Such a warped mentality, another little death of anything that was cool about New York...

  197. So you're blaming white people for package theft. Okay. Security cameras that photograph package thieves (not that they're caught) suggest that they are not the gentry.

  198. No, they’re saying a culture of deliberately not knowing your neighbors leaves you on your own to deal with a form of theft that’s always existed in Brooklyn.

  199. Amazon allow buyers to pick up packages from near by Walgreens and other retail outlets I’d suggest using them

  200. Theft is wrong but the uproar sounds naive. Doesn’t every kid learn that if toys, bikes, etc were left outside there was a high likelihood that at some point something would be taken? What is different about packages left unattended? Apparently there are 90,000 thieves at work daily or if we assume the same person might steal 3 then here are 30,000 people per day who have a need to steal. There won’t be one solution. Securing packages might solve some thefts but more importantly the reasons people steal needs more understanding and attention. We can’t just continue to live in an increasingly armored country or can we? Since I mentioned bicycle theft consider this from biking.com “Over two million bikes are stolen each year in North America—meaning every 30 seconds, someone’s ride goes missing. And the problem has only been growing: Over the last two decades, bike thefts have doubled.”

  201. ...and that’s why I citibike!

  202. In my city, the Belk department store ladies’ shoe section is now an Amazon pickup location. So the Amazon shopper now drives to the brick and mortar store it has nearly killed to pick up the item they could have bought from Belk in the first place from a real local person who needs a job. Buy local.

  203. @Luann Nelson: Do you actually believe that Belk sells (or ever sold) everything that Amazon offers? I'm not a big fan of Amazon at all; I avoid buying from Bezos whenever possible - but sometimes you need an oddball item and Amazon is pretty much the only place that has it.

  204. It’s likely that most of these packages are valued at less than $1,000.00 making a theft a misdemeanor. How will the various D.A’s prosecute those that are caught stealing these packages? Exactly what position does the mayor take on these thefts? Should sporting and entertainment tickets be offered to deter these larceny? Should these thieves be incarcerated when caught. Do judges or anyone else in the NYC criminal justice system care anymore about misdemeanor larceny?

  205. In Denmark packages that don’t fit in mailboxes don’t get delivered it no one is home and people used to have to go to the post office to pick up the package if they missed the delivery. Now because the post office has basically shut down offices, they have package receiving shops in kiosks, grocery stores, barber shops and also specific GLS package shops that are just to receive package deliveries. And you can choose location nearest you when ordering. Surprised in the US they are still just leaving packages in open to be stolen.

  206. @Jennifer It was the same when I was living in the Netherlands. Difference was that the delivery people would often times leave your package with a neighbor who would hold it for you, and the delivery person would leave a note in or on your postbox where they had left the package.

  207. Oh that could never happen in Denmark with Danes! We were friends with our neighbors so could have asked them but Danes are generally very private and would probably feel it an imposition!

  208. Make the offense a felony with a $10k. Fine and three to five years in prison. Done. If people steal that are doing many other bad crimes and need to be removed from day to day life.

  209. I find that a box at the closest US post office does the job just fine. Your delivery address needs to include the street address of the post office, to make it possible to receive UPS packages at the US post office. The annual rental for the POBox is worth it, and I don't have to disclose my home address when I make purchases. Very satisfied with this solution.

  210. Two years ago I had 3 UPS and FedEx packages stolen from my porch in one week. The UPS driver informed me that he is often followed by vehicles waiting for him to drop off packages. His company does not allow him to call the police. This year they are so inundated with packages that they are now ‘dumping’ packages anywhere towards the end of their shifts. When we called the delivery companies they don’t seem to care. They will not pick up incorrect deliveries and route them to the correct address. Last week we actually drove a mile to deliver a package dumped on our sidewalk! Why on earth would I order on-line anymore?!

  211. Easy problem to address. Apply for a PO Box at your local Post Office and sign up for 'street addressing.' You will have to pick up packages at the local Post Office. Nothing is 100 percent guaranteed but Postal employees are sworn federal employees and the Post Office has a Postal Inspector branch, the Post Office equivalent of an FBI. Theft from any mailbox or by any Postal employee is taken seriously.

  212. I don’t think UPS, Fed Ex, or Amazon can deliver to a PO box. Only USPS (the postal service) can. That’s the problem.

  213. @Laume I routinely order Amazon merchandise to be delivered to my POBox. I believe I have gotten Fed Ex deliveries there as well. You must include the STREET address of the post office in the delivery address, and your POB#. This has been a service of USPS for some years now.

  214. @Laume Apply for a PO Box at your local Post Office and sign up for 'street addressing.'

  215. The other unintended consequence is the recycling of the boxes. More than I want to handle some weeks! I can only wonder what the change has meant to recycling at the municipal and commercial level...?

  216. I just replaced my garage door and the new opener is compatible with an app that lets Amazon access the door and leave packages in the garage. I’m mulling this over, asking the question: Do I want to let companies access another thing in my life?

  217. Obviously a different scenario in a suburban locale in MN, but the only one who does not ring the bell is UPS. Just got a package via FedEx and they rang the bell. I guess I'm not surprised they don't wait for a signature (although one UPS delivery did get a signature), since they are under such time constraints. We also have neighbors that are on the constant lookout (several of us are home all day due to various situations), so they can also be on the lookout. But 15% (or more) disappearing gets charged back to all of us. Something needs to be done.

  218. Can't see a valid reason why Chase would not allow a certain minimum size and smallish amount of packages delivered to employees who may fear their items may be stolen ? What gives? Of course to me Chase would have an issue with their huge corporate office buildings , I am thinking more of the corner bank.

  219. Great. Everybody stop buying online. Here in NJ we're inundated with warehouse construction. The rumble of trucks shakes houses to their foundations. The air is so thick with clouds of diesel, birds sit on them instead of branches. Walk or drive or take the subway to do your shopping. The only thing you'll lose is calories. Thanks.

  220. I wish I could still go shopping in stores for classical recordings as I once was able to do. I especially loved the wonderful selection at Tower Records and wish it were still here, and I also loved the smaller record stores as well. Classical music is a tiny segment of the recording market (two percent I have read) and even stores which still carry CDs like Barnes & Nobel have a tiny selection of classical recordings. Likewise I hate seeing the independent bookshops going out of business, and even a large chain like Borders could not survive. Some things are only available now online, and I suspect there are many of us who wish that the shops we used to frequent were still here for is to visit and patronize.

  221. People like Miriam Cruz make me proud to be an American.

  222. If landlords gave a nice rent discount to one dedicated package receiver in every building of large cities this problem would be solved considerably.

  223. I found a brilliant solution to this problem, a method used by humanity for thousands of years. I buy things in person and schlep them home. Nothing I’ve purchased has ever been stolen or lost.

  224. Dabney, It’s hard to rely on stores because they are not always fully stocked, especially when looking for a less common item. I try to make a point of buying at the brick and motor stores but it’s not always possible.

  225. @Dabney L Do you have any ideas for people who are physically unable to “ buy things in person and schlep them home”? Maybe they should just do without?

  226. 90,000 packages a day go missing in NYC alone? Seriously is the math right? That’s over 32 million packages a year. I’m finding this number in NYC alone hard to believe.

  227. It’s 28 percent of all packages in NYC shipped daily

  228. @Tony that’s crazy!

  229. Some of this is due to the incompetency of the delivers. We regularly get packages for a nearby apartment complex. The packages indicate that the packages should be delivered to a certain apartment and we are clearly a townhouse. But the delivers still leave other people's stuff outside our door.

  230. This is why drug law reform is so important. Instead of having our police pour resources into locking up pot smokers, addicts and small-time drug dealers, wouldn't it be nice if our police and courts made petty theft a higher priority. Ten year jail sentences aren't the answer, but people need to be arrested and prosecuted just to send the message that it's not ok to steal other people's stuff. If we prosecute shoplifters, we should do the same with package thieves.

  231. Buy local and not too much.

  232. Well, it had to happen. First shipping was "free", and now your stuff is too, (to someone)!

  233. I can tell you that Amazon sees porch theft as a revenue source. If sellers buy shipping through them, they’re supposedly protected if a package is stolen. Otherwise, it’s the seller’s loss. Amazon has no interest in solving this problem.

  234. @John Hay Nonsense. Most packages delivered by Amazon are sold by Amazon. When those packages are stolen, Amazon replaces the stolen item. That’s a loss, not a revenue source.

  235. I am surprised that the public does not find it ironic that the cities with apparently the highest theft rates have the highest inquality rates as well. While theft is never a reasonable fall back to equalize any real or perceived inequality it is a symptom of the inequality problem, Daniel Hicks at the University of Oklahoma and Joan Hamory Hicks at the University of California in Berkeley demonstrated that over a 20-year period, the American states that had the greatest inequality in visible expenditure—spending on items such as clothing, jewellery, cars, and eating out—also suffered the most from violent crime. Please see the Economist June 7, 2018

  236. Perhaps this should be more widely publicized.

  237. Wait. 1.8M packages a year go missing in NYC, and the number is 1,800 so far this year in DC? There's a typo here. Even if Washington's are only those reported to the police, and would be admittedly a much smaller number, these numbers are at extreme odds.

  238. @M.Y. 1800 reported to the police. Most are not reported since many merchants will replace the contents or refund your credit card.

  239. @M.Y. It seems DC is not fertile ground for package thief but the other kind of thieves who steal from the public purse

  240. I love this. The free enterprise system at its very best. Need a jar of pickles or some band-aids? Just go next door and steal the package your neighbor just got. Let's just say it tums out to be a bow and arrow and some shirts. Nothing lost. Just go up on Ebay and sell it.