Total Pageviews

Popular Posts

Monday, January 11, 2010

UPS Madness = Lost Package

A large green car covered in snow slush proceeds down East Thompson Street from the Port Richmond Shopping Center, staying a good hundred feet behind a large UPS truck. The car is careful not to get too close to the truck or to attract any undue attention. To avoid detection (and give the UPS truck a little space) the driver will periodically pull over and park or take a random detour down a side street, wait a while, then back around again to find the truck.
The UPS driver is oblivious that he’s being followed and tracked. He doesn’t even notice that the green car stops at every house where he’s delivered a package. He doesn’t see the occupants, a man and a woman, cleverly working together as a duo—he going out and grabbing the just delivered package and throwing it in the backseat of the old Chevy, while the woman pulls away before neighbors can catch onto what’s happening.
They proceed like this until, at the end of an hour, the man and woman have grabbed virtually every package left by the UPS man.
The specific green car noted above is a fiction, but incidents of people tracking UPS trucks to steal packages is not. On Monday, December 11th, a package sent to me by a family member was stolen from my doorstep while I was at work. To make matters worse, a replacement package sent out 3 days after that was also stolen, or disintegrated into dry ice or eaten by the seagulls that hover near the shopping plaza—this despite the fact that I alerted my neighbors Carol and Jay to stand guard, A KA rifles aimed and ready to fire (a fiction) when the UPS man came knocking. But in the two minute span that it takes most people to use the water closet, somebody swooped down on the second delivered package, perhaps that green car again, or a grubby passer-by with a stolen shopping cart.
At the news of a second stolen package I entertained thoughts of forming a posse of friends and allies to search the alleys and byways of the hood for discarded package wrappings and UPS sigh off sheets. Armed with flashlights and Trappist jam detection devices, we’d hunt down the villains and make them pay.
“I hope the food in that package was bad, and that whoever stole it is choking by the river,” Carol said. Jay, Carol’s sister, had an even worse scenario, reminding me of those grim opening scenes in ‘Law and Order.’ While I’m not going to go Clint Eastwood to retrieve Trappist jam and gourmet cheeses, I do hope that the Christmas snatchers get their comeuppance—is that the right word?
UPS package snatching is happening all over the country. In Merrimack, New Hampshire last week a person or persons targeted a traveling UPSA truck, essentially following the truck while it made deliveries and then snatching the packages once the truck left. Merrimack police reported that hundreds of dollars in random items were stolen during the course of a week. Police eventually found the empty UPS boxes and packing slips in nearby woods, so the case is still hot.
In Brentwood, Tennessee, there’s also been a rash of door-to-door stealing of UPS packages. The culprits in this case did not use a car but walked from door to door, taking as many packages as they could carry.
In Cape Coral, Florida, a former UPS driver and his wife was charged with stealing over $250,000 worth of UPS packages and selling them on eBay.
In an ideal world, UPS would insist that every package be signed for, as well as ask for ID whenever they drop off a package. UPS would also not cram packages halfway inside storm doors so that the ends of packages are sticking out, tempting those on the street or in cars to come and sample the goods.

Thom Nickels

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.