October 21, 2021

Police: Package thefts few

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

A mail truck leaves Cortland’s post office Saturday. Local police officials said there weren’t any increases of packages being stolen during the recent holiday season.

Despite a rise in the number of online orders made during the coronavirus pandemic, Cortland County police said they didn’t see a dramatic increase in packages stolen from people’s homes during the holiday season.

Cortland police Lt. David Guerrera said his department has received only a few reports for stolen packages from houses on Clayton Avenue around Dec. 21 and 22.

“They’re the only ones I can really recall,” he said.

Since Christmas, there haven’t been any other reports made to the department.

He said that there were some reports of stolen packages before the holiday season of late November into December, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Guerrera said that the reason there might not have been a higher number of packages stolen from Cortland residents during the holiday season is that more people may be home because of the virus and can collect packages as soon as they arrived. He speculated that package tracking and doorbells with video cameras can help prevent thefts, as well.

“I think the tracking is a huge thing,” he said. Some websites offer text message notifications when packages arrive, instantly alerting the recipient, he continued.


Protecting packages

Tips to protect your packages from being stolen:

  • Track your packages.
  • Notify a neighbor, friend or family member that you are expecting a package and to have them move it to a secure location.
  • Have packages delivered to a FedEx, UPS, or any other store that allows for in-person pick up.

SOURCE: Cortland police Lt. David Guerrera


Homer Police Chief Robert Pitman said his department hadn’t received any reports of stolen packages recently.

Normally, though, the department usually only gets “a couple” reports a year, he said.

In years past, he said, thieves have followed delivery trucks as a crime of opportunity.

“They don’t know what they’re’ grabbing but they just take it,” he said.

Usually, the most thefts happen around Cyber Monday on Nov. 30, when there are more orders for packages than normal, Pitman said, but thefts can happen any time of the year.

Pitman, like Guerrera, speculated that there might not have been an increase in thefts this holiday season as more people have been at home and are tracking their packages.

He also added that for the people who are working in their offices may have packages delivered to their workplaces to make sure they get them immediately.