BERMUDA DUNES, Calif. - Many of us order online and receive those orders by the USPS, Fed Ex, or UPS. But those deliveries left at the front door can be very tempting for thieves. It's as easy as walking to a door, picking up a box, and nonchalantly walking away. A Bermuda Dunes resident found out first hand, so he installed video cameras, put out "bait boxes", and got a thief to bite.
The man, who preferred to remain anonymous, said, "well, we had ordered some packages online, and after waiting for several weeks for them to show up, and then doing some online tracking with the companies that we ordered the parcels from, it was almost like a no-brainer that someone was stealing our stuff."
He installed his cameras on Memorial Day weekend to catch the criminal in the act. Late Monday night, the video showed a person wearing a knitted hat with ears open his front gate, walk up and take the box at the door, and walk away. A minute later, the thief came back to take the second box. Both boxes were filled with non-valuables that were going to be donated to Goodwill. The man was asleep during the theft, but the situation is still frustrating.
"Seeing it happen is even more where it takes you to home," he says. "Where you see this person walk up to your gate, trespassing on your property, and then stealing your property? Yeah, it hits you."
No word on the identity of the thief, but the man hopes his video will help the authorities in their search. "I hope so, I hope so," said the man. " I mean, usually there's different characteristics to anybody who walks and comes in here. We've got a couple indentifiers that show kind of what this person is, and, maybe someone that recognizes her in the community or even the security staff here may recognize her."
Representatives from UPS were contacted for this story, and said it is an accepted industry-wide practice to leave a package on a residential doorstep without a signature. But if the customer requests, a signature-upon-delivery is the most secured way to avoid parcel theft. They also recommend to ship to an alternate address, like a workplace or a trusted neighbor's house, where someone will be present to sign for the package.