Dealing with Package Theft and Security

Discussion in 'Packing & Shipping' started by Wildcat, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    It hasn't happened to me yet, but I'm sure I'm bound to have it happen sooner or later.

    This device caught my eye this morning, though: http://whotv.com/2017/12/17/man-fed...-booby-trapped-box-that-sends-crooks-running/

    :D (Although I think an ink bomb might be a bit more effective. ;) )

    Seriously though, I already have one security camera on the front of the house, and am looking at adding another that is pointed directly at the door and front porch (from a side view, as I already have one that catches anyone pulling up in the driveway, in the street, and coming up the front walkway). We live in a neighborhood with older houses--our street dates to 1940, so these typical bungalows really are not too far from the street. It wouldn't take much for someone to hop out of a car, grab a package and run with it. I'm thinking too, a sign saying "Smile! You're on video surveillance!" might make them think (and look) twice. ;)

    I'm hoping nobody else gets stung with a package theft. But feel free to share any other tips here.

    UPS at least puts my packages along the side of the house. They seem to be the only carrier that follows directions. (If you get the UPS app, you can specify instructions, or leave a code for a locked area for them to leave packages in.) FedEx is too impatient, and toss it anywhere they feel like, regardless of similar instructions left for them.

    We'll occasionally get a younger, conscientious USPS carrier who puts slimmer packages between the front doors, but the older tenured carriers we've had don't give a shit, and stomp across lawns and through flower beds to deliver mail and packages, tossing them anywhere (even landing where they get rained on).

    I don't know where I'm at from day to day, so I don't have a set business address to ship to. But in the past, that was ideal. And at least the USPS deliveries are so late in the day that someone is usually home within an hour of delivery.
     

     

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  2. jcamero

    jcamero If you get confused just listen to the music play Subscriber

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    I'm surprised I've never had anything stolen from my porch. Not many neighbors around during the day, very accessible, and an easy getaway. Anything of true value to me gets shipped to my work place. I work in a small shop, and only 1 person in shipping/receiving. I just give him a "heads up, I got a package coming". If not too heavy, he brings it to me, if heavy, he puts it on a cart, and lets me see were it is.
     
  3. squirrelnest

    squirrelnest Addicted Member

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    Great video....I'd use real shotgun shells!
     
  4. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    As a member of the legal community, I have to speak. I know folks tend to speak tongue in cheek, and get a laugh, but some might get the idea to actually do things like this.

    Whether or not the one that is on the receiving end of such primed devices is perpetrating a crime at the time, anyone involved in setting up a primed device like this is liable for possible criminal charges if it goes off and causes any real damages. Such devices do not discriminate when they go off, and frequently, unintended consequences and damage results. In addition to criminal penalties, civil penalties, where the level of proof and elements of claims are reduced, can add up to 6 figures and beyond quite easily.

    Example: a potential thief steps up and grabs the booby trapped container, and it goes off. The thief is startled and jerks backward, losing his balance, falls off of the porch and hits his head on the sidewalk. He suffers severe brain damage, and is wheelchair bound for the next 35 years of his life. The jury awards the thief with the $260K of special damages (hospital, rehab, remodeling his house for the wheelchair, and a vehicle to accommodate the wheelchair). In addition, the jury awards $2.5M to compensate for his loss of income according to related actuarial tables, his inability to have marital relations with his wife, his inability to relate physically with his two children, his inability to maintain his home and vehicles on his own, court costs he incurred in bringing the law suit, etc., etc., etc.

    For folks with access to legal research tools, informative cases will be found, relating to what are called "spring guns." Here is a good place to start: https://h2o.law.harvard.edu/collages/2773

    Think twice people,
    Rich P
     
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  5. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    If one is terribly concerned about package security then

    • make the necessary arrangements for it to be delivered to secure location/trustworthy person, or
    • have it held at the nearest terminal and pick it up yourself, or
    • invest in some sort of lock box setup
     
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  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    It actually surprised me to see that this guy could get away with selling something like that. Regardless of whether or not it is a "blank," it still is an explosive device, and explosives have a mind of their own. Sure, I love the idea of booby trapping a perp stealing a package, but to do it in practice? I don't think I could. A bigger worry for me is someone innocent triggering it...or even my own stupidity in forgetting about my own rigged package on the front porch.

    I'd love to see a police sting operation, though. A house set up with a few hidden security cameras, monitored by law enforcement inside. Perp drives away, and an unmarked car follows. Slip a GPS tracking device into one of the packages beforehand, and they could follow it just about anywhere.

    I have noticed an increase in our local PD's squad cars driving down the street over the past several weeks. It's not unusual to look at my front security camera and see a squad car driving by, more so than at other times of the year.
     

     

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  7. mbskeam

    mbskeam AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    And, this is why I ship to my place of employ....
     
  8. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    My sister lives in a gated community in a nice area. Her amazon packages kept getting stolen. On the following Recycling day her neighbor across the street would always put out the boxes for the same items that never showed up lol
     
  9. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    My answer to the problem is to get a post office box in a business set up for such. A regular P.O. Box cannot receive UPS/FedEx. PostNet, where I get my mail, receives and signs for my packages as well as receiving my USPS mail. There are several such business, and the expense is justified for safety and security purposes.

    A mailbox out front of my house is in no way secure. In fact it would be inexcusably ignorant to use it. I passed by a malefactor just this evening riding up and down the street on his bicycle, exploring the contents of mailboxes.

    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  10. Mrv8q

    Mrv8q Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I’m a big fan of the Amazon locker, when using that service.
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    That's breaking federal law, is it not? Or is that line crossed when they actually tamper with the contents?
     

     

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  12. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    Residential mailboxes are considered federal property, once they have been put into service. Hence, vandalism and tampering of contents are indeed federal crimes, with penalties up to $250K. However, a crack/meth addict is not hindered by such considerations.

    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
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  13. IPADave

    IPADave AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The police have been doing this in the greater Boston area. They even nabbed a guy a couple of weeks ago.

    -Dave
     
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  14. KeninDC

    KeninDC Speedfreak Jive Subscriber

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    Poisonous snakes or rabid weasels in a phony box are also excellent thief deterrents.

    I used to use badgers, but they've unionized.
     
  15. Mr Creosote

    Mr Creosote Active Member

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    If you are a dog owner, fill an Amazon box with his droppings and leave it on your porch.
     
  16. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

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    There is a turd factory that lives next door to us--I'm sure I could gladly take a few off of their hands. (Or I should say, out of their yard.) ;)

    Leaving a couple of hungry, drooling pit bulls chained to the porch (securely...as we don't want innocents being mauled) might also be a slight deterrent. :D

    I wish we had a porch with a solid railing on it, as packages could be left behind it, and not be visible from the street. Out of sight, out of mind.
     

     

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  17. Chip Chester

    Chip Chester Super Member

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    Heard a radio story the other day where a woman loaded the decoy box with a dozen of her 2-year-old's latest diapers.

    Chip
     
  18. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

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    I'm professing my ignorance here and now: What is a "malefactor"? I guess I should know by the way it is used in the sentence but it is term I've not heard before.
     
  19. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    mal·e·fac·tor
    [ mal- uh-fak-ter]
    NOUN

    1. a person who violates the law; criminal.
    2. a person who does harm or evil, especially toward another.
     
  20. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

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    Having to do with "malfeasance." I am sort of familiar with it after all yet I have never heard of it used that way before. This has been a better than usual day - I learned something and I'm not being sarcastic about it either.
    Thank you:)
     
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