How to Prevent Package Theft in NYC

Originally posted on December 23, 2022 3:00 pm
Updated on December 12, 2022 8:33 pm

Those who have ever shopped online have likely had a package stolen. It happens a lot in NYC. It’s estimated that 90,000 packages are stolen in the city every day. If people have a doorman or a package room, they’re less likely to experience these issues. However, most people in the city don’t live in such a building, meaning their packages could just be sitting in a lobby waiting to be taken. So what can be done? How can people protect their packages? How can people stop current package thieves from stealing their stuff?

How to Deter Package Theft

Even if someone lives in a building that has never had a package thief, folks need to keep track of their items during and after shipping. As an individual, people can take action to make it more likely to get their packages. First and foremost, folks need to track their packages. This is the most important thing someone can do. Tracking packages means people can make plans to be home when it arrives, and they can immediately grab their items when they’re marked “delivered.” Package thieves don’t usually hang out in front of buildings waiting for FedEx to arrive, so this strategy is usually a resident’s best bet.

For an added layer of security, people should make sure they choose a shipping option that requires a signature for a completed delivery. Worst-case scenario, if someone isn’t home to sign for it, they might have to pick it up somewhere. Sometimes, delivery people won’t make folks sign for a package, but it does usually mean they’ll drop off an item at their door instead of in their building’s lobby, which will add an extra security measure against would-be thieves.

There are also things people can do with their neighbors to help the whole building keep their packages safer. First, people should stay vigilant and remind their neighbors not to buzz people into the building if they aren’t expecting anyone. Additionally, if a building doesn’t have one already, people should get their landlord or super to install security cameras by the main entrance. Security cameras can act as a deterrent, and thieves who witness a camera might get scared off. In the case of theft, building management can also use the security cam footage to determine who stole the package.

Suggestions From the City To Deter Package Theft

Other suggestions from the city include sending packages to a place of work, having a friend or family member pick them up, having packages shipped to affiliated store locations with lockers (Amazon has a lot of these places), or requesting that a delivery service hold packages at their facility until later. These strategies are great and will be very helpful for deterring thieves, though they don’t kind of counteract the convenience of online shopping in the first place. Still, receiving packages is better than having them stolen, so these options might be the best course of action to take.

How to Prevent Continual Package Theft

Many people, unfortunately, have already had a package stolen. Likely the same perpetrator has hit their complex multiple times, or different offenders have been targeting the building. This can be annoying and life-threatening in cases where people get medicine delivered. Either way, there are ways residents can prevent these thieves from coming back. The first, and most important step, is getting organized and making a plan.

Many buildings do a combination of things like sending security footage of repeat offenders to local police and filing a report. This means that someone will be on the lookout for these thieves. Posting signs with pictures of intruders can also have a huge impact. If they say something along the lines of, “Do not let these package thieves in the building,” it can scare said thieves away. People who steal packages don’t want to get caught, so they will move on if they think an apartment complex is onto them.

Some buildings consider hiring a doorman, who would be responsible for checking in guests of the building, watching the lobby for would-be intruders, and generally keeping an eye on the front door. This strategy works best if the building hires several doormen, so there’s 24/7 protection. Part-time doormen are still great, but some package thieves only visit in the middle of the night, so having someone guard during daylight hours would not have been very helpful. Still, having a doorman is better than having none if building management can afford to hire one.

Alternatively, many apartment buildings in the city have installed package lockers, which work like a charm. While some delivery people may ignore the lockers and put packages on the ground. Most of the time, delivery drivers will use the lockers, making for an extra security measure for residents’ packages. It’s important to realize that none of these strategies are perfect, and package theft can still occur. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a few extra safety measures in a building.

Package theft is a pervasive and confusing crime in NYC. Truly, it makes no sense. Unless folks have time to open packages and look through them, they are just stealing random items that they might not even be able to use. Regardless of whether or not this crime makes sense, it does happen quite often. The security measures listed above are great ways to prevent package theft before it even happens. Should a building have a package thief, it’s important to deal with it as soon as possible. After all, if people order something online, it’s only right that they’re the one who receives their package.

Ready to Find Your New Home?
RentHop ranks listings based on accuracy, completeness, recency, and more.
Browse NYC Apartments
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
© 2009 - 2023™