As a metal worker, I’ve been intending to build this for the past ten years. The last thing I feel like doing when I get home is more welding. Sigh.
Yep! Especially if you live in NYC (or anywhere in the North East really). Amazon has something like 50+ different warehouses in NJ and Pennsylvania alone.
I have considered some DIY solutions however, one being a 115 dB siren and battery that goes off when it is taken. The intent being to draw attention to the people carrying the stolen package.
Man fed up with package thieves rigs box with shotgun blanks to stop them
If the package had a cell network connection it could check that its tracking number has been delivered, then "arm" itself.
Or, the package could be programmed to wait for the homeowner's WiFi SSID to appear, then wait for the accelerometer to settle when the package is put down.
Or, I could turn it into an SDR project. Send a Zigbee 'disarm' signal once every 10 seconds or so, if the package got out of range of my SDR it would go off.
It's often a small number of violators – sometimes professional – who've been emboldened by early successes to scale up. So just a few stings, with adequate follow-through prosecution, could have a highly-leveraged effect on the overall rate.
Fines? Can't get blood from a stone. Jailtime? The cost-benefit analysis doesn't support that, prison time is expensive and petty theft doesn't really cause that much damage.
I have no solution to offer here.
That's the rationale that makes car theft such a huge problem around here in the Seattle area, or did until the laws were tightened up a bit. Prosecutors and judges either didn't consider it worthwhile to punish offenders heavily or didn't have the legal tools to to do, so we ended up with people who had literally dozens of prior arrests being set free to steal more cars.
Not everything is supposed to be a profit center, and that includes law enforcement. I pay taxes to keep criminals away from my home and out of my life, and I expect to get what I pay for. Whether it's inconvenient or unprofitable to do so is not my concern.
It should be if you’re paying taxes. I personally don’t want my taxes to skyrocket to cover expanded law enforcement if it doesn’t provide a meaningful benefit.
For the record, (almost) no one thinks law enforcement should be profitable. That doesn’t mean that cost/benefit analysis shouldn’t factor in.
You're not considering deterrence. Sure, the cost/benefit of an individual does not support jailing a small-time thief. However, other potential thiefs may be deterred from committing the crime in the first place. This aggregate level of crime reduction often does justify itself in a cost/benefit analysis.
If criminals believe that the cost/benefit analysis will leave their crimes uninvestigated and unpunished, then yes, they are more likely to commit crimes.
Stings run by police, generating stories of caught-criminals, and making it so that repeat offenders face a rapidly-escalating likelihood of being caught, would seem to deter, by the evidence at your link.
If the practice actually deterred crime, without leaving any lasting physical or psychological damage – other than an aversion to re-offending – it deserves unemotional consideration.
The description of scarring and motion difficulties for up to a month afterwards are more severe than I'd expected. The lashes are not delivered in public.
There are some ways in which Singapore is "the western world", by language/culture/legal-system, though not geography. As the article notes, their practice of caning was inherited from the British.
I share some of the visceral discomfort with the idea, but also know lots of things we allow because they work, or are within someone else's preferences, also cause many people visceral discomfort: organ (or fecal!) transplants; non-majority sexual practices; legalization of drugs or prostitution (some western world jurisdictions). Disgust is often a hint, but not reliably dispositive, about what should be allowable.
We also allow solitary confinement and the death penalty, despite evidence these have weak deterrent effects, sometimes causing grave psychological damage or the death of innocents. What if we studied the matter, and found evidence that corporal punishment of adults better deterred crime, with less follow-own damage, than these traditional practices. We should probably then ban those familiar barbarisms, but still consider as possible the far milder action – lashes – that seems like a barbarism from unfamiliarity and gut reactions.
My hunch is that it could work because it provides a cheap, rapid symbolic "closing of the psychological loop" – offense, capture, punishment.
Even though the tangible costs (in money and time) may be less, the necessary messages are sent to change the calculations of the sort of people who choose such crimes. Indeed, there may even be less collateral damage to their other lawful relationships (job, school, family), compared to jail time spent with (and learning from) other worse criminals.
In the US, jail time is a theoretical punishment, but very inconsistently applied because the courts and jails are crowded. Such uncertainty lessens the deterrent effect, and leaves the victims of petty crimes feeling helpless.
Is it the best way to get a kid to behave? No, not according to the research. Is it going to turn generally shitty parenting into good parenting? Obviously not. Can it be an effective discipline strategy? Yes.
> As in many areas of science, some researchers disagree about the validity of the studies on physical punishment. Robert Larzelere, PhD, an Oklahoma State University professor who studies parental discipline, was a member of the APA task force who issued his own minority report because he disagreed with the scientific basis of the task force recommendations. While he agrees that parents should reduce their use of physical punishment, he says most of the cited studies are correlational and don’t show a causal link between physical punishment and long-term negative effects for children.
> “The studies do not discriminate well between non-abusive and overly severe types of corporal punishment,” Larzelere says. “You get worse outcomes from corporal punishment than from alternative disciplinary techniques only when it is used more severely or as the primary discipline tactic.”
> In a meta-analysis of 26 studies, Larzelere and a colleague found that an approach they described as “conditional spanking” led to greater reductions in child defiance or anti-social behavior than 10 of 13 alternative discipline techniques, including reasoning, removal of privileges and time out (Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 2005). Larzelere defines conditional spanking as a disciplinary technique for 2- to 6-year-old children in which parents use two open-handed swats on the buttocks only after the child has defied milder discipline such as time out.
The studies that exist largely seem unable or unwilling to distinguish between mild spanking and physical abuse. Those in the spanking-is-evil camp are fine with this and will assert that there is no difference because they’ve already decided and are happy to argue circularly. So they’ll argue that because some physical punishment has clear negative outcomes, all physical punishment must have negative outcomes despite support for that belief being minimal to nonexistent. This is akin to asserting that brief Time Out as punishment is harmful because locking a child in a closet for hours as punishment is harmful.
I feel like there should be more compelling proof that spanking (not a rollup category of “physical punishment”) is harmful. There seems to be little to no evidence for this, which makes the belief pretty suspect.
Probably just a gimmick. Court costs and overhead time checking the crooks doing mandatory good deeds might be more. But then we have to punish them somewhow
Sure it does. Insurance rates. Compare rates for San Francisco vs. Houston for comprehensive coverage. Or San Francisco vs. Cupertino for that matter. Every smash and grab costs everyone more money.
Prop 47 is a big culprit. These thieves can cause $1000 in damage to a car, but their prosecution is pretty much pointless.
If we want to talk cost benefit analysis, prosecuting armed robbery with no injuries doesn’t make sense either: if the robber gets $100, and it costs $100,000 to imprison them, then that’s a bad cost benefit return right? If you want to operate under a cost benefit analysis, jail time should only be required if whatever damage is done exceeds the cost of incarceration. That’s absurd, but that’s what a cost benefit analysis would reveal, assuming costs are measured in dollars.
Broken windows policing works .
if the robber gets $100, and it costs $100,000 to
imprison them, then that’s a bad cost benefit
I mean, if a criminal is operating under rational choice theory  and they know their crime will go unpunished even if it is detected, why wouldn't they steal packages?
Who cares about what someone feels after they get robbed. Public feeling safe does not register on RoI report.
Disclosure: I work at AWS but know nothing about Amazon delivery
it might not even be a crime
The summary seems to be that Prop 47 treats shoplifting under $950 of value as a misdemeanor. As a result, law enforcement is unlikely to pursue and punish, so thieves get away scot-free.
Additionally, organized crime has exploited this and can easily recruit people for their shoplifting rings. The article reports that retailers have seen a rise in shoplifting since the law took effect.
So presumably, package theft of anything below the value of $950 from a door step (not a federal USPS mailbox) would only be a misdemeanor in California.
So, still a crime, on par with jaywalking and littering (which, in Cali, is a minimim $100 fine + 8 hours community service).
And yet, we're talking about things that could be Christmas gifts, baby food, medicine, people's means of transportation, you name it.
This is false. Jaywalking and littering (and most traffic offenses) are infractions, not misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are still serious crimes that can result in jailtime.
* solicitation of prostitution
* DUI with no injuries
* battery domestic violence (with no injuries)
Same goes for littering in assorted jurisdictions. I'll concede that lumping those two as examples in a discussion involving Cali as context was misleading. The fine + 8 hours community service is for the infraction of littering in california. That is not to say that they are not misdemeanors elsewhere.
and various other jurisdictions.
I bet that has caused some unfortunate fuss with people “convicted of a misdemeanor” for a simple speeding ticket trying to explain it in a state where a misdemeanor is something more serious.
Good thing California doesn't make laws and regulations related to packages and mail, the USPS does, so it is still a federal crime to steal packages.
Think about the sort of petty offenses that are more actively pursued. You'll almost always find they tend to be low execution cost with a high probability of receiving payment: traffic violations, prostitution stings, drug related stuff, etc.
It instead captures existing roving criminal intent – perhaps redirecting it from a less-ready victim. And when the bait is taken, an actual crime occurs – in destruction or taking of another's property.
And often, when a bust is made in relation to a single such crime – such as by tracking the stolen item back to the thief's staging areas or accomplices – evidence of other similar crimes is found as well.
There is nuance here. While I am traditionally against entrapment, I don't believe this crosses that line. If the police were surreptitiously encouraging the theft it might be different.
> I'd really need to see a cost/benefit analysis
It's a bit hard to quantify peace of mind or be able to correlate changes in theft counts due to sample size issues and the myriad of other reasons why theft counts may change.
It’s perfectly legal and ethical to leave a package outside. What’s not ethical or legal is stealing other people’s property. The criminals are the ones creating crime, not the people trying to catch the criminals.
good one :) I mean tbh its not that great, anyone could see it, but still caused me to laugh so I say that's pretty good.
Caught him on my Ring camera sadly my front door is an alcove that is about 1m deep so the motion detection only triggers at the last second. Thus I only got him as he was turning around and got the side of his face and not the front.
Blue Iris and most NVR software lets you specify an arbitrary length buffer. It eats some memory, but nice to get context. I very much doubt Ring exposes an RTSP stream locally though.
In most situations it has a fairly long (many meters view) of people approaching but unfortunately due to the alcove my door is in people literally appear <1m away from it. And while it starts recording pretty fast there is maybe a 1-2 second delay.
Does it work differently in the US, so are packages usually left at the doorstep?
I'm not sure what changed. Perhaps people decided they prefer not to involve a third party. Or perhaps couriers just don't think it's economical to spend the time to knock one door and then another and then maybe another if the neighbor isn't home either.
I would bet most people getting regular package deliveries live in access controlled apartment buildings or very safe suburbs.
I'd be surprised if I saw anyone's parcel just sitting on their front doorstep
This is where a lot of Intel employees live as Intel's headquarters are here, just to give a picture of the area.
Do people refer to Hillsboro as Intel HQ? There sure are a lot of folks there, but down in SV people seem to think they're at HQ. I don't work for Intel, but my startup went through their accelerator a few years back and I met a bunch of people through the program.
I even became friends with one of the technicians on the "binning" team, who tests all the chips and determined what clock speeds they will be sold as.
It was 24 cans of soda and several other items. No way it was actually delivered that way.
So either it wasn’t and the delivery person lied, maybe to still get the delivery as completed (and therefore paid or count against a quota), or it was delivered and then stolen. I had no idea what it was, but called Amazon saying that I never received the package, and mentioned its delivery notes said the very large package was put inside the mailbox, clearly impossible. They re-sent my order promptly.
My point is that it’s super easy to say “hey Amazon you never delivered, send it again”. The picture is for the consumer as much as it is for Amazon, now they have irrefutable evidence that the package was in the right place for a while.
Your comment reads like you think we live in Sweden.
Edit: it is strange, here's the US breakdown https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-bud... and the australian breakdown https://www.taxsuperandyou.gov.au/node/131/take. The US spends a bit more on defence, but not as much as I thought it would and spends more on health than aus does (as % of GDP). Though not sure if this includes state taxes, maybe someone more knowledgable in these things can explain
- economic hardship and/or thrill-seeking behavior - the former is influenced by economic conditions, economic equality and substance abuse
- perceived value of item
- perceived risk of getting caught
- perceived penalty if caught