As in America, fighting thieves parcels
Porch pirates ("pirates of the porch") in the United States - this is already a profession. Like raiders, pickpockets or burglars. With the proliferation of online shopping and home delivery, tens of thousands of people have appeared who live on theft of packages from under the door, and that’s just what they’re doing. The team often works: one “pirate” is sitting behind the wheel of a car, the second / second is hunting for a package.
On average, Americans receive 27 packages each year. Every third - at least once faced with the fact that he had something stolen. And the pace is growing every year. In 2017, already 11 million (!) Residents of the United States reported having stolen the package from them. A total of 26 million parcels were stolen (obviously, someone was unlucky several times). Victims spend an average of about $ 200 to replace each stolen package. Many are forced to "fight" with it, staying at home all day long, if they expect that they will receive a package. For millions of others, this is not an option.
Someone takes the decision of the problem in their hands. For example, makes it so that the parcel makes a shotgun shooting sound, if it is lifted. Or he puts in his boxes the contents of the cat tray, making the thieves a “gift” for Christmas. Well, some, using their experience in designing Mars rovers for NASA, make “One Home” devices to deliver a full range of impressions to thieves.
Police and Amazon, too, found rather unusual methods of dealing with this new type of robbers.
Despite the abundance of cells, most of the "porch" crimes remain unsolved. It is enough for robbers to hide their face, and it will be possible to determine them only by car number. In order to fight this somehow, the police in Jersey City a few weeks ago began to put fake Amazon boxes near houses and apartments. Inside these boxes are GPS trackers, and on the sides are hidden cameras. Parcels are located in the most dangerous areas - for example, at the door, looking at a busy road. And then it remains to wait until the next "pirate" grabs the bait.
Sheriff Jason Geminis says:
These thefts, they are amplified for every holidays, when the number of packages increases by an order of magnitude. So that our people are not spoiled by Christmas, we want to show that every crime will have consequences.
Catching thieves "live bait" has already brought results. One parcel lay just three minutes by the door. The police (in civilian clothes) had not yet had time to move away from home properly, as the GPS had already signaled that the box was moving. They needed only to turn around, run half a block and catch the robber on a hot one.
True, if you were caught the first time, the punishment is not too terrible. As a maximum - $ 1000 can be charged from you. Apparently, this is why so many people decide on this crime. When they spot you, you can always say that “a mistake has been made” or “this is my package”. And even if there is all the evidence, you have to pay less than the average cost of five packages that can be stolen in half a day.
But the police have no other tools to fight. A program to install dummy boxes and GPS fishing for this Christmas, following the example of Jersey City, will be launched in the states of New Mexico, California and Oregon.
Of course, Amazon would not be Amazon if it had not found a way to turn things around and make more money out of it.
Do you want to protect yourself from the "porch thieves"? Pay Amazon!
The company already has three special delivery methods for those who fear package theft:
1. Amazon Key . Residents put a special electronic system on the door, and can set options for opening or closing it. For example, if they see that a guest or courier has arrived, you can quickly open the door, even if you are sitting in the office. Amazon's messengers themselves also have the key, and can enter the house to put the package inside (the owner’s system warns about this in advance). If the parcel is placed inside, and the thief will climb to get it, this is already a crime of a completely different order, and few people dare to do so.
The service was launched last year, and has not yet been as successful as Amazon had hoped. Not everyone likes, in fact, giving the key of their home to couriers, whom they have never seen before, and who, moreover, will then constantly change.
2. Delivery in the car . A similar system, also running from the Amazon Key application. The company launched it in April, and is now actively promoting it. You leave your car wherever you want, in any public urban space (for example, in the parking lot at the office). And within 4 hours the package is delivered directly to her in the trunk.
With this system, you do not need to let anyone into your home, plus you can buy from Amazon, even if you are only in transit. Those who try delivery in the car, the company gives gift certificates at $ 10. True, the technology is only available for machines of 40 selected brands, with the year of release from 2015.
Four pirates moored
3. Amazon Locker . The third, least convenient, but also the most popular option. Delivery takes place "in the old manner" in the cell, as in a bank or a supermarket. And then you, using the code that came to you on your smartphone, take it from there. No additional fees are charged for this, although the size of the package is limited by the width of the door of this, as Amazon calls it, the “automatic kiosk”.
The company has already placed more than 2,800 orange lockers in 70 US cities. True, many, especially those that stand in the Whole Foods supermarkets, quickly fill up for the holidays and stop accepting new orders. And, of course, all the advantages of online shopping are lost: you have to go on a journey to get your order.
A few days ago, Amazon announced that from now on, it would be possible to manage the security of the house — with such systems as Scout, Honeywell, ADT and, of course, the main thing, Ring (which Bezos also owns since February of this year). Amazon also opens an API for security management for any manufacturers who also want to create devices that help them fight thieves, both those who sneak inside the house and those on the porch.
Alex also learned to recognize the sound of breaking glass (Alexa Guard system) to send you a signal if someone wants to crawl through the window. And, of course, everything that is captured by the Ring camera can be shown on the TV or the Echo column, and then shown to the police.
There, to help - the social network Nextdoor and the application Neighbors , uniting neighbors. Camera Ring, zasekaya moving, begin to broadcast what is happening in front of you the door to this social network, a la Facebook Live. And if there is something illegal there, your neighbors, even if you are not at home, can follow the situation. Access to Nextdoor and Neighbors have and law enforcement. The number of active users, according to Jamie Siminov, the owner of Ring, has already exceeded 1 million.
The fight against the "porch pirates" even goes even further. Amazon recently filed a patent for a system that creates a database of “suspicious personalities” using its new face recognition technology . The idea is that the same Ring camera will be able to identify people with a criminal history or those suspected of crimes.
And the cameras will share this information with each other (through the Amazon cloud). That is, even if the first camera did not detect anything suspicious in a person, and the package was stolen, it is enough to make a mention of this in the database. And next time, if the same person approaches the door of another house with the Ring camera, she will pick it up, give an emergency signal to the owner, call the police and turn on the alarm.
As a result, if many people install such a system in their homes and apartments, stealing packages from the door will simply become unprofitable. The chance of getting caught will be too great. And if one stolen package costs an average of $ 200, installing Ring will be much cheaper, Amazon hopes.
True, not everyone is happy to welcome such a future without “porch theft”. Jake Snow, a California-based lawyer who teaches civil rights at the ACLU, says that the prospects that the new Amazon patent opens up “personally terrify him”:
Just imagine that this is a man who recently came out of prison. He wants to start a new life. What options does he have to get a job? Being a carrier of parcels is one of the few remaining paths. Now imagine that the system automatically recognizes and turns on the alarm, noticing anyone with a criminal history. How much more difficult it will be to live in our society. I think there must be another way ...
But does anyone have any more sensible suggestions? Or is it worth giving “pirates” to rob a cargo, how much will your soul want?
PS Pochtoy.com safely delivers parcels from the USA to Russia. You pick them up either from the courier’s hands, or at one of the branches for self-delivery, so you don’t have American problems :) And if you register with us with the HABR code, a 7% discount is applied for delivery.