There has been a rash of package thefts in the area, hitting several building in the North Dupont-U Street area. According to a reader who contacted Borderstan, the following buildings have been recently targeted by who they believe is the same man, based on video camera recordings: the Balfour (2000 16th Street NW), Haddon (1926-1930 New Hampshire Avenue NW), The Albermarle (1830 17th Street NW) and the Brittany (2001 16th Street NW).
Borderstan ran a story in December about package thefts — Christmas-holiday season is prime time for package thefts. However, the current thief making the rounds is targeting buildings with secure entrances — and is gaining entrance by posing as a contractor or representative from Pepco.
This first round of package thefts occurred during the Christmas season, but the thief is back, according to the reader who contacted Borderstan: “At the Balfour where I live, the guy has taken dozens of parcels worth thousands of dollars.”
The thefts have been reported to the DC Police along with video footage of the purported thief. A spokesperson for the DC Police said that anyone with information about the package thief, should contact the DC Police Command Information Center at 202-727-9099.
The reader told Borderstan, “He hangs by a building entrance waiting for someone to let him in, often claiming to be a contractor or even with Pepco. Far too many people just let him in, and he grabs the packages and leaves. If people see him, they should call 911.”
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From Matty Rhoades
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which can only mean… stolen packages. Take notice, Borderstanis, especially you new arrivals from the suburbs and rural America. Here is an ugly little fact about the holiday season when you live downtown: Packages get stolen a lot this time of year.
Thieves literally make the rounds — watching for delivery trucks — and looking for untended boxes on front steps, underneath stairs and inside unlocked doors to building entrances.
A Logan Circle neighbor emailed me yesterday that she saw a van driving slowly down a residential street — and thought nothing of it until what happened next. One of the passengers jumped out, ran up to a box sitting on a front step, grabbed it and got back in the van. Yes, she did call 911.
Always require someone to sign and take possession of your deliveries. A box sitting on a front step or inside an unlocked entryway is a tempting thing for thieves — especially in December. No doorman? No one will be home? Ship it to your office or pick it up.
Here’s my personal tale of woe.
A few weeks ago I bought a suit. I like it so much that I wanted the same suit in a different color. “No problem,” said the (wonderful, BTW) saleswoman. “We will ship it to you.” Never in a million years did it occur to me that it would be shipped without requiring a signature by the recipient. So, I did not ask about it.
I learned the hard way last week that no signature was required for the delivery of my suit. I came home and saw the top of a large box (see photos above) sticking above the window line in the front door of our building. It’s the location of our mailboxes and it is unlocked; the security door is inside the entryway. The culprits had opened the boxes — taking both the coat and pants — but were kind enough to leave the boxes and packing slip.
Who was responsible? I contacted the shipper who told me the clothing manufacturer had not required a signature. “Not us,” in other words. I contacted the clothing manufacturer that shipped my suit and was told that their contract with the retail store did not require signatures on deliveries. So, “not them,” either.
Last stop was the retailer. After explaining the situation, I was given two options: They would reship a suit to me or I could get my money back. By this point, I just wanted my money back. BTW, I explained (rather pointedly) that you cannot ship an item, especially a large one, to a downtown location without requiring a signer — especially at Christmastime!
I’ll get the suit at the store, thank you.