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Package thefts on the rise in Denver, more than doubling since 2019

Denver package thief
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 20:48:26-04

DENVER — Package thefts have been on the rise over the last few years, with stolen package reports in Denver more than doubling in 2021 compared to 2019.

It seems like everywhere you log on these days, someone is posting about their packages getting stolen.

"I do feel like there's more activity than ever," homeowner Chad Kaltenstein said Monday.

A so-called "porch pirate" stole his groceries that were delivered to his front porch on the morning of Mother's Day.

"When I shared this, almost everyone I talked to had their own example, their own story of it," he said.

The doorbell security cameras have never really been a deterrent.

"I think the cameras are useful to raise awareness in the neighborhood, but I don't see them as a deterrent, and the video didn't help in my case. We filed the police report and didn't hear anything back," he said.

His case is one of at least 629 reported to the Denver Police Department so far this year. If that number seems high, it's because more packages are getting stolen than ever before.

According to DPD, Denver is seeing a 40% increase in package thefts year-to-date when compared to 2020. There were only 451 package thefts reported then.

The comparison is worse in 2019 for the same time period when only 303 packages were reported stolen, with 2021 so far seeing a 108% increase, which is more than double the number of stolen packages from two years ago.

"The numbers are startling. I think it's attributable to COVID and accelerating this home-delivery, touchless kind of shopping, and I think that's probably here to stay," Kaltenstein said.

Denver Police shared a few tips with Denver7 to prevent packages from getting stolen:

  • Track the package to arrange to be home when it arrives and be sure that it requires a signature.
  • Once the package is delivered, bring it into the house as quickly as possible.
  • Have it sent to work or the home of a family or friend who is more likely to be home.
  • Have the shipping company hold tthe package and arrange to pick it up at a sorting facility.
  • Have the package shipped to a self-service locker to pick up when it's convenient.

Since getting his groceries stolen, Kaltenstein has changed where delivery drivers can leave his packages.

"Really not much that law enforcement can do," he said. "So we as residents just need to be a little more thoughtful about where things are left."