Denver Gazette: Our other seasonal wave – the porch pirates | Opinion
As Black Friday kicks off a holiday shopping season that will certainly be affected by the scarcity of the supply chain, Coloradians have another headache to face: parcel theft.
SafeWise, an online consumer safety resource, found in its recently released annual report that more than three in four Americans surveyed have had a package stolen in their lifetime. The survey of 1,000 people, conducted in collaboration with Cove Home Security, showed that crime had increased over the past year, with 64% of those surveyed saying they had a package stolen in the past 12 months. previous months, compared to 47% compared to the previous year. And those who had something stolen probably had to deal with the nuisance again, as 53.5% of all respondents said they had had multiple packages stolen in the past year. From these figures, SafeWise estimates that 210 million packages have been stolen across the country in the past year.
More worrying for Coloradans, SafeWise says the trend is at its worst in the state’s largest city. Mile High City kind of went from outside the top 10 cities for package theft to being wholly owned in the first place to steal the annual crime crown from reigning three-time champion San Francisco. Doubtful distinction if any. Denver was unranked in 2020, eighth in 2019 and eleventh in 2018.
SafeWise bestowed the honor on Denver – also ahead of Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Antonio, Austin and Portland – after analyzing 2020 FBI theft data from major metropolitan areas nationwide. They then compared this statistical sample to data from Google Trends in areas with the highest number of searches for “missing package” and “stolen package”. SafeWise’s score for each metropolitan area devoted 50% of the city’s score to Google Trends search popularity and the remaining 50% to the theft rate per 100,000 people.
SafeWise did not share its exact score for Denver compared to other cities. But recent local and statewide crime data shows just how battered Colorado has become with violent crime and strewn with property crime. It all really took off last year as various disbelievers across the state were released from prisons early – or even never incarcerated – in a misguided attempt to stem the spread of COVID behind bars. This helps explain why 2020 saw a 3.9% increase in overall crime in the state; murder and manslaughter increased 29%, aggravated assault increased 17% and robbery increased 6.5%. Auto theft increased 39%.
Over the past two weeks in Denver, November 9-23, the city police department reported 309 incidents of theft – nearly 21 per day – including various types of theft, but not counting theft from a vehicle. motor. Regarding package theft, in particular, although the Denver Crime Map does not specify the crime in its slippery database, Denver 7 reported in June that 629 incidents of package theft had been reported to the police department. of Denver during the first half of the year. This represents 40% more parcel thefts than in the same period in 2020 and twice as many incidents as in 2019.
SafeWise warns in its 2021 report that package theft is likely to be even worse this winter, as more people choose to buy gifts online rather than in a store. SafeWise estimates that just over half of Americans plan to buy more online this year than last year. SafeWise further cautions that thieves are more attracted to vacation packages because they are often worth more financially.
Similar to last winter, during the first holiday season in the midst of COVID-19, The Gazette reported in December 2020 that the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office was seeing 10 to 15 reports of package theft per day. The ministry expressed this estimate believing that the cases were likely higher, in reality, given that the porch hacker nature of the crime is difficult to follow, as many victims do not report the incident because they think that their package has just been lost. .
In their report, SafeWise consulted with Dr. Ben Stickle, a criminal justice and theft expert at the University of Louisville. He has specific research interests in crime prevention, environmental crime, rational choice, and ethnography. All of those academic gashes on his belt led Stickle to the same conclusions about parcel theft that most rational law enforcement officers or citizens might assume: And to complicate matters further, Stickle says, the disciplinary risk for these thugs is low because the punishment, even if taken, is minimal.
While we cannot explain the soft crime policies that have fostered this increase in criminal activity, we as members of the community can look out for one another. This holiday season, let’s do our part for our neighbors and keep an eye out for opportunistic thieves, while reaching out to the police, so these thugs spoil the holiday celebrations as little as possible.
Denver Gazette Editorial Board