Preventing Package Theft in NYC: Essential Tips for Condo & Coop Boards - Article Banner

Everyone is shopping online these days, and that means packages are being left at homes and in buildings all over New York City. Because of the sheer volume of deliveries, package theft has become a common problem in many urban areas, including New York City. 

Thieves are often brazen enough to simply walk up to doorsteps and take packages, which can be incredibly frustrating for residents who are expecting deliveries. It’s a loss for retailers, too, who often have to replace what was stolen. 

We’re sharing some practical property management advice on how to prevent package theft from your building in NYC. If you’re on a condo or co-op board, we encourage you to share this information with your residents so they can be better protected. 

Tips for Condo and Co-op Boards and their Residents 

Here are some of the things you can do to keep your property protected. 

  • Use Package Lockers or Delivery Services

One of the best and most efficient ways to prevent package theft is to use package lockers or delivery services. Many apartment buildings and office complexes in New York will have secure lockers where packages can be safely delivered and stored until they are picked up by the recipient. This restricts access to anyone except the person for whom the package is intended. 

Consider investing in lockers for your building, or, alternatively, you can encourage tenants and residents to use a delivery service that offers secure drop-off options, such as Amazon Locker or UPS Access Point.

  • Install a Security Camera in Your NYC Building

Installing a security camera at or near the front door can deter potential package thieves. Even if the camera doesn’t catch the thief in the act, the mere presence of the camera can make them think twice about stealing a package. If a resident does report that a package has been stolen, the footage can be used to identify the culprit and potentially recover your tenant’s stolen package.

  • Request Signature Confirmation or Delivery Notifications

Another way to prevent package theft is to make sure that the packages being sent will require signature confirmation or delivery notifications. Instead of allowing packages to just be left, make sure they have to be handed over to a live person and signed for. This ensures that the package is only delivered when someone is available to sign for it or when you are home to receive it. 

Requiring a signature also means that more people will be gaining entry into your apartment building. For the security of your packages as well as the safety of people living there, it is important to remind residents to verify the identity of the person buzzing to be let in. Tenants should not simply allow anyone in via the intercom without first checking and, as always, make certain that the doors close fully when coming and going and report any suspicious activity.

You can also remind your tenants and residents that it’s a good idea to track their own package. Many delivery services offer real-time delivery notifications via email or text, giving them the opportunity to know exactly when a package can be retrieved. 

  • Ask Residents to Have Packages Delivered to a Neighbor

Suggest that your residents have a neighbor they trust receive packages for them, especially if they’re away from home a lot and they know their neighbor is usually at home. This way, your package is delivered to a safe location where they know it will be secure until they can pick it up.

  • Pick Up Packages at the Post Office or Delivery Center

One of the best ways to avoid package theft is by having packages delivered to a post office or delivery center for pickup. This isn’t always convenient for your residents, but it does cut down on the security challenge. 

Package Rooms in NYC Residential Buildings 

If you have a package room in your building, that’s a great start to protecting the deliveries that your residents expect. However, you have to secure package rooms properly. 

Here’s how. 

  • Install Security Cameras

Installing security cameras in and around the package room is a good way to deter package theft. The cameras should be placed strategically to ensure that all areas of the package room are covered, including entry and exit points. High-resolution cameras that can capture clear images and video are recommended. Post signs that indicate that the area is under surveillance.

  • Use Access Control Systems

Access control systems, such as key fobs or access cards, can help prevent unauthorized access to the package room. Only residents or tenants with authorized access should be allowed into the room to retrieve packages. The access control system should also log all entries and exits, providing an audit trail of who has been in the room and when.

  • Use Lockers or Shelves

Lockers and shelves keep packages organized and secure. Install those that are designed to prevent tampering or theft, with sturdy locks or access codes that can only be opened by the intended recipient. Additionally, the lockers or shelves should be positioned in a way that allows security cameras to capture any activity around them.

  • Create and Implement Consistent Package Delivery Policies

Package delivery policies can help ensure that packages are delivered safely and securely. Building owners and property managers should work with delivery companies to establish policies that require signatures for all package deliveries or mandate that packages are only delivered during specific hours. This can help prevent packages from being left unattended for long periods, which can make them vulnerable to theft. Always enforce these policies. 

Package rooms are a crucial amenity for apartment buildings and office complexes, but they can also be a target for theft. By implementing security cameras, access control systems, lockers or shelves, delivery policies, and education programs for residents and tenants, building owners and property managers can help prevent package theft and ensure that packages are delivered safely and securely.

Most importantly, building owners, board members, and property managers should educate residents and tenants about package theft and encourage them to take steps to protect their packages. This can include encouraging them to track their packages and pick them up promptly, as well as warning them not to let strangers into the building or package room.

If you’d like some help ensuring your building is more secure for residents and their packages, contact us at Harlem Property Management. 

Manage CondoBased in Upper Manhattan, Harlem Property Management is the authority on co-op and condo building management and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York. We specialize in managing condos, co-ops, and multifamily buildings.