Monday, November 29, 2010

Parcel security

Officer Steve Standley, a skilled veteran of 36 years, has intitiated a problem-oriented policing (POP) project aimed at a crime type that surfaced last year: theft of parcel deliveries.  In Steve's Southeast Lincoln team area alone, there was a loss of goods valued at over $5,000 during the holiday season in 2009.  The M.O. is pretty straightforward: the thieves watch the courier make a delivery, then sneak up and snatch the parcel off the porch or patio.

Creating more awareness of this crime is part of Steve's strategy.  Yesterday, he alerted his fellow officers to be on the look out for anyone lurking in a residential neighborhood while FedEx and UPS drivers are making their rounds.  He's especially interested in anyone who might be parked in a car or idling at the curb a block or so down the street as a delivery is made. 

Today, he has enlisted my help to spread this same word to the general public. You are our eyes and ears.  There are only 321 of us, but there are 255,000 residents in Lincoln, who are far more likely to spot this kind of suspicious behavior.  If you are retired, a stay-at-home parent, or a shift worker who is around the house during the daytime, you are a particularly valuable crime prevention asset right now.  These deliveries are almost always between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, and that's when the snatches occur. 

Keep your eyes peeled, and please call us ASAP if you see anything that looks like a parcel theft, surveillance of a delivery, or anything else that appears odd.  It could be the set up to one of these thefts.  Don't worry about bothering us, and don't hesitate because of uncertainty--we'll check it out, and if there is a legitimate explanation, no harm has been done. 

Good luck, Steve.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chief,

Here's a problem with some couriers: They don't always bang on the door or ring the doorbell when they leave a package. I understand why they usually don't wait for someone to answer the door, if the shipment allows for release without a signature, because they're on a really tight schedule and have to really move in order to get their hefty workload completed at the end of a shift. I wouldn't wait either, but I'd knock and/or ring the bell, because packages sometimes sit out on the porch quite a while.

As one last service to the shipper and receiver, they should always "cop-knock" (BAM BAM BAM BAM) and/or ring the bell - and then jet back to the truck. It'll only take 5 more seconds. Some of them act like a rabid tiger is going to come flying out of a secret hatch and rip them to bits, or an angry wacko is going to detonate a claymore on them if they knock or ring.

So, here's my suggestion, if you want to help reduce package thefts from porches: Perhaps a call from the Chief of Police (or the relevant Team Captain) to the UPS and FedEx station managers, asking them if they could make a quick mandatory knock and/or doorbell-ringing station policy for all couriers doing any residential delivery, before they sprint back to their truck. It would be more efficient than just asking each individual courier to knock/ring.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

My father gets lots of packages delivered to his house. He said the UPS driver never rings or knocks but just leaves the package and goes back to the truck. My father has called UPS several times asking them to do so but it never helps. A Chief of Police or Captain calling might do the trick since it is in the name of crime prevention.

tspuckhead said...

Is that the Officer Standley who used to work in the schools? I remember him fondly...I agree a knock is a great idea. Luckily, anytime I've had a package delivered, the person who dropped it did knock.

Anonymous said...

If you actually want the package give the shipper the instruction to require an adult signature. UPS is only paid to get the package to the door, they do not care if it still there when you get home.

Dave said...

Wondering what accounts for the difference in the number of officers you reference between your profile and the Parcel Security item.....421 vs 321? Does the 421 include all office/administrative and the 321 represents "feet on the street"?


Monday, November 29, 2010
Parcel security
"…Today, he has enlisted my help to spread this same word to the general public. You are our eyes and ears. There are only 321 of us, but there are 255,000 residents in Lincoln, who are far more likely to spot this kind of suspicious behavior. If you are retired, a stay-at-home parent, or a shift worker who is around the house during the daytime, you are a particularly valuable crime prevention asset right now. These deliveries are almost always between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, and that's when the snatches occur…."

About Me
I'm the chief of a 421 member police force in Lincoln (population 255,000). I became an officer here in 1974, and except for a seven year detour to the Sheriff's Office, this is where I've been. I have been….

Tom Casady said...

Dave-

421 employees at LPD, of which 100 are civilian and the remainder are police officers.

Anonymous said...

Another piece of advice: Have stuff shipped to your work instead of your house. I know this isn't possible for everyone, but if your place of employment doesn't mind, this really is a better solution.

For whatever reason UPS/USPS/FedEx will usually come in the building and have you sign when it is a business address.