Students find ways to protect their mail from theft

Damaged+packages+and+trash+are+scattered+around+the+mailroom+at+one+of+the+apartment+complexes+on+Euclid+Street+on+Thursday.+%0A

Sydney Laput

Damaged packages and trash are scattered around the mailroom at one of the apartment complexes on Euclid Street on Thursday.

By Piotr Fedczuk, Contributing Writer

Packages are being stolen from University students living in apartments, forcing them to find alternative methods to protect their mail.  

Joseph Lamberson, interim assistant to the Champaign police chief, said package theft is a crime of opportunity. 

Packages sitting out in the open, especially with brands or labels like “laptop,” draw people’s interest. Lamberson recommended students report stolen mail. 

“(Reports) assist local police in establishing data points that we can use for seeing if certain types of crimes are on the rise,” Lamberson said. “That can change how we allocate our patrol resources.”

However, students hesitate in reporting their stolen property to the police.

After having her package stolen, Elvina Kusuran, junior in Media, called the manager of her building and was then told to contact the police. She said the manager was not helpful.

“I don’t want to take it to the police, so I didn’t call the police,” Kusuran said.

To prevent her packages from being stolen, Kusuran said she mailed them to her friends’ addresses instead.

“These are crimes of opportunity,” Lamberson said. “Not presenting an opportunity is the best way to handle it.”

Zoe Spengler, senior in FAA, tried alternative methods to prevent her packages from being stolen, such as getting notified by USPS when her packages arrived and setting up a network of people to pick up packages.

“I didn’t feel like it was safe to have (mail) sent to my apartment because it felt like they would get stolen immediately,” Spengler said.

Spengler said she has lost at least $100 to package theft.

“My mom sent me some mail in a package, and that got stolen,” Spengler said. “I got the mail back not because the person gave it back, but because I found the package open and my mail distributed on the floor.”

 

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