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“clip of a fairly brazen package theft”

by Prince Of Petworth October 13, 2016 at 2:45 pm 31 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I thought I’d send you this clip of a fairly brazen package theft at my house on 12th and O NW. I contacted UberEats about it (since he is wearing an UberEats backpack) and they said they would investigate the matter internally, but no word back. He took the item out of the box and then threw the box in my yard.”

  • Jeff

    This is such an easy problem for the police to take care of. Why are they not running sting operations on these people?

    • Because that takes up resources. The kids won’t actually spend any time in jail even if the cops do a sting op and catch them red-handed, so why bother?

      • Jeff

        If they’re caught stealing a package worth more than a $1000, that’s a felony. Also, if they were caught, cops would also have a reasonable reason to search their home. More than likely more stolen goods would be at their home, hopefully totaling the felony arrest amount. That’s why you would “bother” pursuing these people.

      • Jeff

        Lets not forget these are not bright people. They’re almost sure to have other priors on their record and a lot in my area are on drugs. Drug users can be prosecuted for possession on top of that if they have it on them.

    • Smittty

      Actually, they do (or did). About 2 years ago I had a package stolen and they caught the guy. It was a young cop assigned to this. Apparently theives follow UPS trucks so the cops do too. They caught him in the act and personally returned my merchandise. So props to the cops but they can’t stop it all.

      • Jeff

        Glad they got him.

        I know where you’re coming from and understand they can’t stop it all, but doing nothing is not the answer either.

  • Anonymous

    A new spin on the “sharing economy”…

  • TCircler

    I will still never understand why anyone in DC has packages sent to their homes if they are not sure they will be there to receive them. Ignoring the one offs where delivery folks don’t actually knock or ring a bell and just drop a package or emergency situations…it seems a lot of people genuinely think they can have packages delivered in DC and they won’t get stolen. I literally have everything stolen from my front yard. Signs, tools, pumpkins. It doesn’t matter. If it isn’t nailed down, it gets taken.

    • stacksp


    • xmal

      I also live in T Circle and for about three years, I did not have a single package stolen, and now experience the opposite, where everything gets stolen. Maybe these thefts come in waves and people have trouble adjusting to the new state (I sure did)?

    • Tsar of Truxton

      I get packages delivered all the time without issue. The risk is on the sender, so there is not a huge deterrent from doing it. The one time I had something taken, Amazon replaced it immediately. If you work for the government, your only option is to have it delivered to your house or never order from the internet.

      • Anon Spock

        Or use access points, get a mailbox, etc. A wealth options beyond house or bust.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          I use access points now that they are available, but they were not available in my neighborhood until a few months ago. With Fedex, I will often have them hold it at the Eckington facility, but USPS just leaves stuff. I haven’t had problems, so why would I pay for a mail box? I had 4 or 5 packages delivered to my house this week alone.

          • Anon Spock

            You shouldn’t, but your post listing options was clearly missing a few.

      • Or have it delivered to a friend or neighbor who’s home during the day (or otherwise more secure), or get a P.O. box.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          Many shippers won’t send to P.O. boxes and my friend’s don’t work from home, sooo…

        • Luckycat

          I have fairly large packages delivered each month via Amazon subscribe and save. If I don’t have access to a car, going somewhere else to get my package causes a problem. I can’t necessarily easily carry my packages and walk, and public transportation causes another host of problems.

          I am fortunate to live in an apartment building with package lockers, but not everyone has the options suggested here.

      • Yeah, of the 3 packages we’ve had stolen 2 were replaced by the sender and the 3rd was a freebie so I didn’t bother pursuing replacement.

      • Kevin

        If you’re ordering from Amazon, you can use Amazon lockers.

        Had one package stolen off the porch in January (Truxton as well), and haven’t had a single thing sent to my house since. I find too many discarded boxes in the alley: it’s a mess.

    • Felony I

      I work from home and travel about four nights a month. I pay for a mailbox at the UPS Store. They accept and hold all packages, plus my regular personal and business mail. It’s not cheap, but the peace of mind is worth it. I never know when someone is sending me something. I even have a security camera that beeps when someone is on the doorstep but I would rather drive to the UPS Store once or twice a week.

    • JMR

      “Ignoring the one offs where delivery folks don’t actually knock or ring a bell and just drop a package”. This is not a one off for us. Neither UPS nor FedEx EVER ring the bell or knock. Ever. The only way I know if a package is delivered is from the UPS delivery emails.

  • FridayGirl

    Maybe he stole the UberEats backpack from a package?
    .. heh… heh…

    • dcgator


  • TJ

    That front porch is a trouble magnet. A stack of boxes and a bike locked to wood with an easy to defeat cable. No camera footage can overcome the naivete.

    • Survivor77


    • Anonymous

      Seriously. That’s a whole lot of garbage just begging for attention from ne’er-do-well thieves.

    • textdoc

      Agreed — I was surprised to see the bike locked there.
      (Although I thought maybe the stack of boxes was intended for recycling — there are trash and recycling bins on the porch, so I guess this house has front-of-house trash/recycling pickup rather than alley pickup.)

  • Vered

    Might it be possible for neighbors to work together to receive each others’ packages so none are left unguarded on porches?

    Having this kind of project would be a reason for people in the area to introduce themselves to each other as well as prevent thievery. I would think that would make it a safer neighborhood for all.

    Has anyone done this? If so how did you pull it together?

  • textdoc

    Did anyone else wonder what the deal was with the bike parked on the sidewalk?
    Originally I thought that was the thief’s bike, but when he left, he just walked out of the frame and the bike was still there. (Maybe he was delivering UberEats to the next house and parked in front of the wrong house??)

  • Citizen

    No more plain clothes units assigned to the police districts to conduct a sting operation. A uniformed officer would look rather silly putting a package on someone’s doorstep…

    I’ve stopped having packages delivered to my house because it’s just too risky without the Vice officers


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