He is unhurried and unafraid, not at all concerned that he is quite visible as he walks onto someone else’s property and steals their belongings.
One of the reasons he seems so calm is that he’s probably done this dozens of times before. In this case we know for a fact that he’s done this before, as the same exact man has been caught on video stealing packages from the same exact house in Woodhaven twice in four days.
Some of these culprits follow delivery trucks around, waiting for them to leave packages for people who aren’t home. Others are simply opportunists, looking for unattended packages sitting on people’s porches.
He doesn’t care what’s inside the package, he’s a gambler. He might get nothing or he might strike gold, and the severity of the crime and the resulting punishment if he gets caught is based on the value of the items that he steals.
But this thief was caught pretty clearly on video, and we’re hoping that someone out there will recognize this brazen thief who so calmly and casually robbed a local family of their property twice this past week.
If they do, we hope they will call the 102nd Precinct at (718) 805-3207 and pass along enough information that will result in his apprehension and conviction.
Package thefts are skyrocketing around New York City, and Woodhaven is not immune to this crime, especially in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas. We all have packages being delivered to our homes which turns us all into potential victims.
How can we combat these criminals? The prices for home security systems such as the one that captured this theft are becoming more and more affordable. Whereas they were once rarities, they are now becoming commonplace.
Like home computers and DVD players, they are becoming standard pieces of equipment found in every home, and knowledge of this will serve as a major deterrent to crime.
A sign on your porch advising everyone that they are being recorded can convince a criminal that he’s better off taking his gamble elsewhere.
Here are a few other tips to help you avoid this kind of crime from happening in the first place. If you are not home during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., perhaps you can have items shipped to your place of business or where you work.
When placing an order, quite often you have the option of entering delivery instructions. You can specify that the order not be left on your porch, and that it only be consigned to an individual residing at the delivery address.
However, some people do not like this option as they often have to drive to a facility to collect their package, but it’s better than having it stolen.
Or, if you are friendly with a neighbor who you know is likely to be home, you can arrange to have the package delivered there.
Some people go the old-fashioned route, leaving a note on their door telling the driver to leave the package on the back porch, though that in itself could indicate to crooks passing by that no one is home.
One last thing to take away from this incident: if a crime like this happens to you, always report it to the police and to your local civic group, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association.
It is important that we share this information with each other and, as a community, remain vigilant and aware of our surroundings. Remember, silence is the thief’s best friend.