RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police say almost 400 packages have been stolen from people’s homes this year, and community members say they have seen this issue growing in their own neighborhoods.
If you get updates from neighborhood apps like Nextdoor, you’ll see videos posted almost daily showing people stealing packages from homes. In a video obtained from a Richmond resident by 8News, a man can be seen walking up to a doorstep on Richmond’s southside. He puts his sweatshirt over the package to cover it up. He then casually walks away with $200 in smart home gear.
Richmond Police says there has been 385 package thefts this year alone, and local residents tell 8News that stealing is easier now than it’s ever been.
“I would never run up on someone’s porch, but if you’re just walking by it’s always easy,” resident Alexander Ball said. “I mean, crime is always an opportunity.”
Another resident, Zoe Kennedy, says from experience of having her own items stolen. She’s seen thieves make a profit from them by re-selling the items they stole on the Internet
“I feel like stealing always comes from a place of needing something,” Kennedy said. “I think it’s also easier than ever to resale stolen goods because you don’t have to go to a pawn shop or anything like that.”
According to Richmond Police, in the past few years the number of packages shipped to homes has grown. When packages are left unattended on porches and doorsteps for long periods of time, they can become easy opportunities for theft. Because most people order their packages to their doorsteps, police have some tips on how you can avoid your packages being stolen.
Police recommend scheduling deliveries when someone is home. You can also have a trusted friend or family member receive the package.
If you are not home frequently or do not have someone who can pick up your packages for you, consider picking your packages up at distribution centers. Depending on the size of your package and if you’re ordering from Amazon, you might consider using a locker at a local 7-Eleven, where only you will have the code to access your package.
Most importantly, if you see something, say something. Richmond Police encourage residents to call them and let me know if you see something happening in your neighborhood.