For months, our apartment buildings have been terrorized by package thieves. Plural, because we caught one once. His bold attempt got caught on camera, and security managed to track down the car plate and blocked access. Things went peaceful for some months until new reports of missing parcels pouring in again.

Here’s the thing about the process of receiving package in our apartment building; before the pandemic, it was pretty normal for couriers to go up to the respective units and send their deliveries. When the person is not at home, couriers can just leave the package on the doorstep — and security-wise, most home owners put CCTV on the front door.

When the pandemic hits, a new SOP (one among many others) got implemented across apartments and high-rise estates. All package receivers — be it food delivery, package delivery, anything — should receive their packages at the lobby area. This to ensure minimum movements and reduce contacts.

This is when the problem started. This caused couriers to: 1. Wait for the package receiver to come down to the lobby, causing them losing precious minutes of delivery, and 2. Additional work when the package receiver is not at home. Couriers end up putting the packages on the mail room (an area that actually strictly for mail/letters only) and hoping the package receiver able to receive the package properly.

It was like a gambling. Some folks are lucky enough to be able to get their packages in good conditions. Some, not so. The neighbourhood has been reaching out to the apartment’s building management for security enhancement and possibility of putting CCTV facing the mail room, but it seems like every attempt was futile.

Until this afternoon, at 6 PM. I just came back from our apartment’s garden with Rey when we saw a slight commotion on the lobby area.

I didn’t think too much about it. It was Saturday afternoon, folks usually out and about. Some neighbours can be seen waiting for their food delivery to arrive.

I checked our apartment Telegram group, in case anyone knows what was that about (yes, we are gossip-y like that,) when a new message appeared: “The parcel thief finally got caught!”

The group ✨ exploded ✨

“YOOOOO. THOSE GROUP ON THE LOBBY JUST NOW? IT WAS THE PARCEL THIEF?”

“DID ANYONE GOT THE PIC?”

“PIC OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.”

“CAN SOMEONE KICK THE THIEF FOR ME? PRETTY PLEASE?”

We then found out the police even involved and thanks to them, the building management and the police managed to nab the thief. At that point, we were so confused; how could it be we have the police force ready on our premises? Did anyone file a report, and the police actually took missing parcel cases seriously?

Apparently, the police was in the area for another case. There was a burglary case on a store nearby our building, and the police narrowed down the search and found out the suspect’s car was seen regularly entering and exiting our apartment area.

The police force met with the building management and they were in the middle of checking the CCTV when they realized something is really off on this person who entered the building empty-handed yet he came out with packages. The rest, then, a history.

(Anyway, the police managed to catch the burglars too! 🎉)

Update: I need to update this post by saying the security guards are doing awesome job too! One of the guards noticed the car has been super sus (“he came to the building this morning and again in the afternoon? A courier usually comes once”) and he chased the car around the block, using motoped. He raised the flag as soon as he recognized the police and caught the thief.

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