Watch your boxes! (Holiday Edition)

Update: Boxes being nicked in broad daylight

Wanted to bump this ongoing “public service announcement” to remind you slackers that boxes are still getting cleaned out of multi-unit buildings at a breakneck pace again this season.

Just a few days ago, one lobby in a midtown building had a couple dozen shipments stolen.

The thief rolled a shopping cart from A&P Supermarket into the building. Apparently people are too busy updating facebook on their phones and can’t be bothered to look around anymore.

stolen boxes hoboken NJ

Boxes will always be stolen in Hoboken

6/18/2014 Update:

Living in a multi-unit apartment building has it’s pros and cons. The “mailroom” is one of the cons. So many deliveries ripe for the taking. “Common sense” could solve the problem, but that’s a story for another day. Here’s some info about the current crop of box-nickers in Hoboken.

One thief arrested: Fernando Serrano

Good news, one Fernando Serrano was arrested yesterday. He hails from Union City, NJ. (Thanks 9th St. Light Rail Station for the contribution!)

Don’t worry, he’ll be free again soon – or someone just like him will take the baton.

Fernando Serrano Hoboken package thief arrested NJ

Another package thief prowling around Hoboken

There’s another box-thief on the loose – as we received this security-footage montage earlier today.

Recognize him? Call Hoboken Police at (201)420-2100 with anything to help put an end to this horrific loss of material goods.

Hoboken Box Robber

Top 5 Recommendations to avoid lobby theft in Hoboken:

  1. Never have deliveries sent to your apartment if you’re typically not home. As a reminder, you can:
    • Befriend a local business (dry cleaner, bodega, etc.) and have your shipments sent there,
    • Use a place like Go Postal that will receive your boxes for a modest fee (and even deliver them when convenient)
  2. Tell your condo to either move or block the mailbox area – or install frosted glass doors outside.
  3. Have your stuff shipped to your work (if you’re not too weak and lazy to use a little effort to carry it home…)
  4. Live in a better building (i.e., with a concierge – but the drawback is that they’ll see you stumble home drunk missing a heel…)
  5. Stop buying so much shit online

Do Hoboken lobby deliveries make sense with all the theft?

12/13/2012 Update:

Myself and Hoboken411 Mascot Oscar walk the equivalent of about two full marathons a week (that’s what my FitBit Activity Tracking Device tells me at least). And during the course of our travels – we see dozens of prime opportunities for cunning thieves to get away with valuable goods.

So many lobbies in multi-unit condominium or rental apartment buildings are stuffed to the gills with UPS or FedEx deliveries – in plain sight!

And year after year, we hear about how “boxes are stolen” from lobbies just like this.

Thieves have a million ways to gain easy entrance to said lobbies – just by ringing buzzers. People just do not care if they can verify the identity of the person ringing… they just unlock the door.

How often does your building get boxes nicked like shooting fish in a barrel?

Constant Hoboken Problem: Stolen Deliveries

6/2/2011 Update:

Have you seen this man?

He’s suspected of nicking packages from a residential building at 300 Newark Street. If you have any information – please contact Hoboken Police at 201-420-2100.

Happens every year in Hoboken: Stolen deliveries!

12/3/2010 Update:

This is one post that you can be sure gets “bumped” year after year – multi-unit buildings where UPS and FedEx drivers leave boxes in the lobby. Guess what? Someone steals your stuff! Read below to see what Hoboken411 reader Courtney has to say about this year’s Mile Square crime wave…

“Starting last week after Thanksgiving, our building has been experiencing a high number of stolen packages from our vestibule and front hallway. We tried leaving a note on the door to not leave packages unattended, but it was taken down presumably by the person stealing the packages. One of my fellow building mates spoke with the UPS Path Truck guy and he said they’ve been getting a lot of complaints about this recently and that maybe someone is following the truck around. (I had packages taken that were delivered by UPS, USPS, and Fedex).

Has anyone filed a police report with something similar to this? My husband is ready to get all “veronica mars” on their ass with tracking devices in boxes. I doubt that will work.

Anyway, just thought I’d give a heads up to make sure people get their holiday packages! Luckily, so far all but 1 of the retailers that I purchased from either refunded me my money or re-sent the shipment, but it’s frustrating to not be able to get anything to my house.”

Stolen Hoboken deliveries on the rise: Unemployment to blame?

2/5/2009:

I just needed to bump this thread because with the unemployment rate going up – and especially because I heard a Hoboken411 reader over the Live Police and Action Channel – the pilferage appears to be on the rise once again…

Nicked deliveries & Hoboken are synonymous…

12/23/2008:

Just about two years ago – I published an entry about the annual ritual of stolen or missing UPS/FedEx deliveries in Hoboken (see my great advice and suggestions below).

But Hoboken411 reader Cheaphobo is having all sorts of problems with lost/missing/stolen deliveries in their building. She wants to know if others are having similar problems – and what they’re doing about it.

Have you experienced crappy delivery (or missing packages) too?

stolen-shipments-in-hoboken-nj.jpg

Are you having trouble with your shipments?

12/22/2006:

The crime meter has been a little out of control the past week, and it’s been kind of hard to keep up along with the mayhem of the holiday season. But a lot’s been happening, despite it not making it to the incident map above. So here’s a condensed version of a trend that’s been taking place recently in Hoboken.

crates.gifStolen parcel deliveries. Or to the petty criminal in town, “Christmas Shopping.”

In the past two days, there have been at least 4 known reported incidents of strange vehicles pulling up to apartment buildings, walking in and then walking out with boxes, then quickly pulling away. Witnesses reported at least two of the cars license plates, and both times cars came out of Jersey City. No word if they were caught.

But people really need to be careful with their deliveries. Just because you live in a buzzer building doesn’t mean your merchandise is safe from plundering thieves (and even sticky-fingered neighbors.) Here’s some 411 advice:

  1. If your items are small enough to carry comfortably, always have them ship to your place of work.
  2. If you have larger items, befriend a local merchant. There’s certainly a dry cleaner, bodega or other store you frequent often that will be more than happy to take your deliveries. It’s what living in a community is all about.
  3. NEVER use ridiculous services such as that doorman to your door or whatever its called. A complete rip-off that defeats the purpose of buying online.
  4. Last case scenario, you can use The Mailboxes, Etc. (RIP 2008) as a depot for your deliveries (but requires a monthly fee.)

What are your experiences? Ever had something nicked from your building? Do you have alternate delivery methods?

59 Responses

  1. Stabone130 says:

    After having countless packages stolen from the lobby of my Washington Street building, I moved. And now any time I am expecting someting, I put a sign on the door: “UPS/FEDEX: DO NOT LEAVE PACKAGES FOR APT. ___ AT THIS BUILDING IF THERE IS NO ANSWER TO BELL. LEAVE SLIP AND I’LL PICKUP AT TRUCK BY PATH.”

    This seems to work.

  2. 9 says:

    It’s not just boxes. For some reason, my USA Today Sports Weekly is usually left outside my building in a plastic bag, and not thrown into my mailbox. I’m lucky if I get one-half of the issues. I’m on a two-week streak now, so wish me luck! 👿

  3. bmoc04 says:

    There seems to be no rhyme or reason in this town with the way they leave packages. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. I’ve had books from amazon that needed to be picked up at the post office for signature and I’ve had clearly market clothing left in my vestibule. Makes no sense. Sometimes local businesses will hold packages for residents, so maybe you should check with some. Then give them a little something at christmas time as a nice gesture of thanks.

  4. HB_Newbie says:

    This happened to us last year. I’m sure the jerk that took our package was REALLY dissapointed to find out it was a shower stool my husband had bought me! (We are somewhat practical gift givers).

    A huge part of the problem is that the delivery schedule changes during the holidays. As someone who is home most of the day, I know my usual UPS delivery man, and most of the year, he comes at the same time. For the past 2 weeks, we have sometimes goten mulitple deliveries a day from the same shipping service. Here’s the kicker — THEY DON’T BOTHER TO BUZZ THE DOORBELL!!!! On that rainy day we had this week, I went to check our mail in the late afternoon and there was a package for me in the vestibule! I was home all day and there was NO notification that he had left it. If they took the 1 second to do that, I bet a lot of packages would not be left out there. Even if i’m not home, i’m sure someone in the building is. (we’re a small-ish 8 unit building). Leading to my next point…

    Be a good neighbor. If you see a package for someone else in the vestibule, channel the spirit of the holidays and take it inside the locked door for your neighbors. I’m sure they will appreciate it.

  5. Stabone130 says:

    Its kinda weird that your husband is making Veronica Mars references.

    • design_chick says:

      Haha, I used to make him watch it… and then he got hooked.[quote comment=”200616″]Its kinda weird that your husband is making Veronica Mars references.[/quote]

    • happyfurball says:

      Not sure why that’s odd? I watched Veronica Mars with my husband and he liked it as much as I did…! Why do they always cancel the shows I like? Oh well, it makes it easier to not watch TV.[quote comment=”200616″]Its kinda weird that your husband is making Veronica Mars references.[/quote]

  6. EvilEmpire_CR says:

    I was just recently the victim of this. I had two packages delivered by UPS on the same day, but never saw them. It wasn’t until two days later did I find both shipping boxes torn open and thrown down by the garden level entrance that no one uses under the front walk up). One of their contents remained unharmed (a large humidifier, presumably too large to carry away), while the other, an expensive pair of headphones, was nowhere to be found. The thief actually tore the manufacturers packaging open, leaving the box, but taking the headphones.

    I did file a police report. Not sure what it will do and how this can be cracked down on without help from UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc.

  7. Journey says:

    My method of preventing this. this is what I list for my shipping address and I ask for a signature.

    ### ? Street Unit #
    Please at the dry clean on the corner of x and y.
    Hoboken, NJ 07030

    Then I get my packages at the dry cleaner around the corner and often drop off or pick up clothes :)

  8. happyfurball says:

    Packages used to go missing in our building too- we’ve had a bunch of people move in/out over the years and I can’t remember any complaints the last few years… I guess the sticky-fingered bandit moved on (I hope I didn’t just jinx it!)!

  9. HansBrix says:

    Ordered some shirts from Lands End who delivers via UPS in shipping bags. Came home expecting a sticker on the door but instead found the bag right out in the open on the stoop. Maybe it looked like a pile Kohls logs from a distance but no one took it, much to my surprise.

  10. HomeTeam says:

    Does FedEx have a truck done by the PATH at night? I have something coming tomorrow and if I miss it will want to grab it down at the PATH Wed. I’ve never seen a FedEx truck there, just the UPS one.

    • jonnyc says:

      Not sure about a truck, but they will deliver your package to the FedEx Office store at 119 River Street. I had a package re-routed there last week when I was unable to be home during the day and it worked flawlessly. [quote comment=”203400″]Does FedEx have a truck done by the PATH at night? I have something coming tomorrow and if I miss it will want to grab it down at the PATH Wed. I’ve never seen a FedEx truck there, just the UPS one.[/quote]

      • HomeTeam says:

        Great. Thanks![quote comment=”203401″]Not sure about a truck, but they will deliver your package to the FedEx Office store at 119 River Street. I had a package re-routed there last week when I was unable to be home during the day and it worked flawlessly.

        [/quote]

  11. truth3162 says:

    Maybe the police should take a look at the local skate park to find the perp?

  12. funattherun says:

    As a pet care provider with access to multiple homes, we provide our clients the service of bringing their packages upstairs safely into their homes at whatever time they need them to be picked up NO EXTRA CHARGE!

    Just leave us a note with the drop off time, we have a database of phone numbers directly linked to the UPS drivers which help us track the approximate drop off time.

    http://www.funattherun.com

  13. homeworld says:

    I don’t bother using UPS for shipping anymore now that they got rid of the truck down by the PATH. I also have footage of them on my security camera not bothering to ring the buzzer on multiple occasions. They just put the sticker on the door and leave, so shipping via UPS always requires driving out to the Secaucus facility.

  14. funattherun says:

    UPS or any mail carrier. We help coordinate package drop off service.

  15. hoboken411 says:

    A resident near 7th & Willow just reported their packages stolen from the lobby. People seriously need to find better ways!

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