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Preventing Multifamily Mailroom and Package Theft

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The Growing Problem of Package Theft

Package theft is spiking. A few stats:

  • $8 billion in packages were stolen in 2023
  • 49 million Americans have had a package stolen in the past year
  • 42% of package thefts occur in multifamily properties

Mailroom theft is “skyrocketing” according to CBS, largely due to the U.S. Postal Service failing to secure the arrow keys they use to open banks of mailboxes in multifamily residences. More stats:

  • Mailroom thefts have increased from 60,000 in 2018 to 250,000 in 2023
  • Inspectors in 76 facilities in 25 states found untracked or unsecured arrow keys

But if you’re multi-family property management, you already know package theft and mailroom theft are a major problem. In a recent Multifamily Crime Poll, a full 61% of Property Managers said package theft was up, or up significantly in 2023. 

Why Does Package Theft Happen?

Package theft is largely a crime of opportunity that has boomed due to our increasing reliance on ecommerce. In the first quarter of 2024 alone, E-commerce sales totaled $289.2 billion, By 2027, projections suggest it will surpass eight trillion dollars globally. 

While both mailroom theft and package theft are year round problems, thieves adopt a “surfs up” mentality during the holiday season. Almost half of all victims experienced package theft in 2023 between Black Friday and the New Year and apprehension rates are low - less than 10%. 

Preventing Mailroom and Package Theft in Multi-Family Properties

Dealing with mailroom theft and package theft is vital at a Class A property. Failure to secure mail and property in transit can lead to tenant attrition and even lawsuits. And most invest in standard measures such as:

  • Access Control
  • Package Room
  • Package Lockers
  • Surveillance Cameras

Despite all that technology, they’re still having problems: tenants and sometimes even staff in a gesture of friendliness allow others to piggyback their access control into these secure areas. Packages are pilfered, and universal locks to mailroom banks are sabotaged for identity theft opportunities. 

The reason they’re still having problems is because their security isn’t a real-time solution. 

AI Surveillance and Remote Guarding: The 21st Century Solution

AI Surveillance and Remote Guarding offer an end-to-end solution that stops package theft and mailroom theft as it is occurring. Here’s how it works: 

  1. AI Surveillance means a computer watches 100% of your surveillance footage in real-time. It never blinks, goes to the bathroom, or gets sleepy. 
  2. Any anomalies it detects – like a loiterer in the package room – are sent to remote guards for review. 
  3. These remote guards check the footage, and in the event they detect a bad actor, switch to live view and “Voice Down” the perp, letting them know they’re being watched and recorded and law enforcement is on the way.
  4. In 97% of cases, that’s enough to send the bad actor running, empty-handed. 

That’s real-time crime deterrence and the best news your proactive security doesn’t stop at your mail or package rooms: AI Surveillance and Remote Guarding can be utilized in all common areas of a Class A property to prevent a host of security problems, including car break-ins, trespassing, vandalism and lease violations. That’s serious peace of mind for tenants and management alike. And the ROI is great: save hours of staff resources that are currently spent searching footage. You also reduce losses and tenant attrition. And if you currently use on-prem guards, you can save up to 40% of your annual guard costs. 

For more information on whether Cloudastructure’s real-time security solution is right for you, CONTACT US TODAY for a free site security evaluation.

Sources:

  1. Security.org. (2022). Annual Package Theft Report
  2. Forbes. (2022). States with the Highest Rates of Package Theft
  3. SafeWise. (2022). Worst Metro Areas for Package Theft
  4. eMarketer. (2023). Global Ecommerce Forecast
  5. NPR. (2022). Package Theft Statistics

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