14 Dec Christmas parcel predators tail couriers, spot, steal packages on your doorstep
Have your holiday parcels arrived safely?
If you shop online for gifts this month, you may be a target for thieves who tail couriers as they deliver packages to your doorstep.
Greg Parslow’s hidden camera caught video of a man as he made off with a package ordered by his daughter and delivered by FedEx to his Langley home.
“They came in behind the courier’s van and drove very slowly to see if there was a package at the door,” he said. “It’s pretty clear they were following FedEx looking for something to steal. They even had the licence plate covered in case there were cameras.”
The video shows a dark-coloured sports car glide by the driveway, stop and then back in. A man dressed in a T-shirt and ball cap gets out, walks to the front door and returns with a package, then drives away.
The front door area is at the end of a narrow path, partly obscured by shrubs.
“If you were driving by at a normal speed you never would have seen it,” Parslow said. “If there had been a car in the driveway, I think he would have kept on going.”
The package contained a cupcake baking tin, ordered online by his daughter, he said. “I imagine (he) is pretty disappointed.”
While the video has been shared 57 times and viewed more than 4,100 times, efforts to identify the alleged thief have been unsuccessful.
“We gave the video to the police, but we haven’t heard anything back from them,” he said. “My daughter posted the video on the Brookswood Facebook page and she sent me some texts afterwards saying that things were exploding, but no one was able to recognize who it was.”
FedEx recommends sending packages to an alternate destination, such as a workplace or family member’s home where someone will be on hand to receive the package.
Other victims, such as Jenny and Ryan To, have paid a much higher price.
A parcel delivered by UPS was stolen from their front porch along with thousands of dollars from inside the house, all in the 90 minutes that the house was unoccupied, they said.
Four adults with different schedules live in the home, so rarely is the house empty. But when they went out for groceries on Dec. 1, thieves came in.
They are furious with UPS for leaving the package without obtaining a signature.
“Putting any package in front of our door is like inviting thieves to come and rob our house because clearly no one was home to receive the package,” they wrote to Postmedia. “Our package was stolen. Our house was broken into. We worry every time we leave the house now.”
“Shipments that don’t require a signature can be left in a safe place at the driver’s discretion,” said UPS spokesman Nirali Raval. “If an area is deemed high risk for theft, divers will be notified to not release packages unless signatures are obtained.”
Customers can request Signature Required Service at the time they order goods, or select depot pickup if you can’t be home to receive the delivery. UPS My Choice Service provides notifications of delivery times and allows recipients to stop and reschedule home delivery.
Research commissioned by Ring video doorbells estimates that one in five Americans has been the victim of package theft in the past year. UPS and FedEx did not give direct answers to questions about package predators.
Vancouver police are bracing for the annual December surge in theft reports, but they strongly suspect package pilfering is an underreported crime as people simply get the item replaced without calling police.
“If these kinds of theft are organized, it’s a great opportunity for targeting policing,” said VPD spokesman Const. Jason Doucette. “But if we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything about it. We may not get your item back, but the information may help us identify a suspect.”
Post Source : Vancouver Sun