Dear PoP – Package Thief in Adams Morgan?

“Dear PoP,

Our building has been experiencing a case of “disappearing packages” and I’m wondering if any others are too. I’m on the 1800 block of Calvert, NW.

I’ve talked to building management, flagged it for UPS etc… I just was curious if this is a neighborhood package thief, or just a mean resident in my building.”

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Unfortunately package thieves plague DC’s neighborhoods in what seems like a cyclical manner. We’ve seen/heard of package thieves in parts of Columbia Heights, Shaw, H St, NE, Petworth and I’m sure in other neighborhoods as well. To counter the problem many have their packages dropped off at work, with neighbors or at post offices.

For obvious reasons this behavior usually picks up around Christmas but, recently, has anyone else noted an uptick in package thefts?

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  • Anything over $25 or so I have shipped to work. One time I came home to find a package I had ordered opened and left on the bottom of my steps. The box was full of cough drops. I can only imagine the disappointment of the would-be thief, scum of the earth that he or she is, it made me chuckle.

  • If you work for the federal government there’s no way you can get your packages delivered at work.

      • me

        Not sure if this applies to the above poster, but I work in a secure building where anyone without a badge must have their car searched and go through all sorts of bells and whistles just to get on the compound. So, I can’t really have my order shipped here.

        • I also work in a secure building like that, but have had no problems shipping packages to my office (I frequently have Amazon orders shipped there). All mail is processed through the building mail room, where it is opened and tested before it is delivered to the addressee. Thus, you can’t have contraband (alcohol, etc) or embarrassing items shipped to the office, but that leaves a lot you can ship. It just takes a day or two longer than it would otherwise.

          • me

            I forgot to add that I’m a contractor, so I think that’s why it’s different for me. I know it’s in the rules, but thought it was because of security issues. But I think it’s just in my company’s contract or rules that says so. Sorry!

      • For those who work on the Hill package delivery at work is frowned upon and adds 2-3 weeks to delivery time b/c of the radiation and screening process that all snail mail must go through.

  • I am amazed, always, that the postman, UPS, etc. leave packages on my stoop (in CH) and I have never not received something I’d been expecting.

  • The OP may want to think about using Base Camp down at the bottom of Adams Morgan (18th and Willard) – for $1 or $2 Raj you can ship your package to them and pick it up when it’s convenient for you. Unfortuntely, they are only open until 7 on weeknights which makes it tough to get to if you can’t leave work early.

  • We’ve had some packages stolen on the 1400 block of Newton St.

  • My boyfriend works for the feds and he gets packages delivered to his office. Maybe the policy varies between agencies/buildings.
    I am amazed that anyone would still get a package delivered to their house knowing it will be left on the front porch. What city do you think you are living in?

  • There have been multiple instances of theft on Chapin St near 14th in the last month. It appears the culprit is able to get in the building. He/she then opens the packages, removes the contents and leaves the boxes behind. It looks like there is a whole system of how to do this without getting caught.

  • I live on the 1900 block of Calvert Street and we’ve had similar issues recently. Packages are generally left in the controlled access lobby of the building. Glad to know we likely don’t have a thief living in the building, but I don’t like that someone is getting in who shouldn’t.

  • This is one of those instances where sucking up to the little old lady or work-at-home person on the block helps. Shovel her walk or walk her dog or something, then slowly and eventually ask her to take your packages. Or, can’t you just have stuff shipped directly to a UPS Store or a FedEx Kinkos for hold & pickup?

    • Not sure about UPS, but no to FedEx. You can have packages re-routed there if the driver was unable to deliver them at the original address. But you cannot ship packages directly to the store.

  • someone stole a 6ft X 3 ft package from my porch in mt. pleasant, then after going through it and figuring out they had no use of the contents or couldnt sell it, put it back on my porch a week later..

  • For some reason I don’t feel comfortable using work resources (x-rays, peoples’ time) to process my personal packages. Maybe I’m a square, but I don’t have my packages delivered to the government office where I work. It’s not our poor mailguy’s responsibility to deal with my package.

    (That’s what she said?)

    • For a while, I worked at a nonprofit where the head receptionist, a kind but nosy little old lady, made sure that she opened everybody’s personal mail for them. She stopped doing it after I had some hardcore DVDs delivered.

      Also, when I lived on Hobart Street, this happened pretty regularly, so I doubt it’s something new.

  • The cleveland park listserve has been blowing up with instances of a “package thief.” makes me grateful I live in a building with a doorman.

  • happened to me on 13th st in col heights. not a good feeling.

  • Randolph east of 14th has seen recent porch thefts, including a package from mine. Thinking about setting a trap for the scumbags.

  • I just reported a stolen package this morning. First time this has happened. Petworth.

  • Happened a few times in my building at 18th and Kalorama – someone took my birthday present from my parents (a cookbook). Not cool.

  • I use a business which receives packages for us. They charge $2 per package which is really worth it not to worry. The place is called Basecamp at 1929 18th Street.

  • I live in the 1800 block of Calvert, and no one has packages delivered any more, since a large number of us have had packages stolen from a controlled entrance, but unmanned lobby. We have a security camera, but apparently there are “gaps” in the surveillance.

  • I’ve now had packages disappear. UPS claims all were signed for by someone at the residence and that there is nothing more they can do. Unfortunately no one has been home at the reported delivery times. Does this mean someone is hanging in front of my house taking my deliveries? Anyone have any luck requiring UPS to get ID/signature of someone INSIDE the home?

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