Mail theft is hardly a new crime, but it has changed, evolved and grown across U.S. cities. For relatively little exertion, mail thieves can receive high payoffs for their efforts. For example, they can steal and activate pre-approved credit card offers in your residents’ name as well as their personal information – birth dates, phone numbers, social security numbers and more – found on or inside stolen mail pieces for other financial gain. This theft can also result in something even more sinister – identity theft of your residents.
The following video shows how one apartment community used Stealth’s live video monitoring security solution to deter an individual who was arrested for sifting through mailboxes on a multifamily residential community’s property.
A highly trained Stealth Monitoring security operator saw a female come into camera view of a multifamily residential community’s mail center. Starting on the outside boxes, the individual accessed multiple mailboxes. She rummaged through each one, pocketing pieces of mail that she apparently deemed valuable enough to steal and throwing less valuable pieces to the ground.
Per pre-determined protocol by the community, our operator contacted the on-site guard but there was no answer. Our operator jumped to the next step in the deterrence process – contact local police.
Our Stealth operator continued to watch the trespasser and thief. She continued her behaviors as before but this time placed pieces of mail back into some of the boxes. She then walked around to the inner side of the mailboxes and continued accessing various mailboxes.
Police arrived on-site and handcuffed the female. An officer then walked around the mailboxes while the female pointed out the boxes she accessed and potentially stole from. A security officer and someone who appears to be a community employee, such as a manager, came on the scene and spoke with the officer while the handcuffed female stood near the group.
Mail theft can be an eloquently planned out crime by a sophisticated network of criminals or a crime of opportunity, where a person passes by some mailboxes and decides in that moment to ransack them. High rewards with little effort can be achieved, which is probably one of the reasons why data from the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General shows from March 2020 through February 2021, a total of 299,020 mail theft complaints were received. Just think … that’s just the total number of received complaints, not the total number of actual or attempted mail thefts!
Stealth Monitoring is well-versed in working with various multifamily residential apartments across North America to help apartment owners and managers keep their residents safe within their communities. One of our focuses is on apartment amenities and common areas, such as mail stations and rooms, laundry facilities, workout rooms and club houses. Because amenities can often be visited on any day at any time, it is essential for community ownership and management to deploy effective security in and around these areas.
Our live video monitoring security solution, customized for multifamily communities, works in real time. This means events are caught as they happen, not afterwards when sorting through hours of recorded video data. Our advanced video analytics can filter through live video streams and detect certain activities, without the need for human intervention. When the technology determines an activity needs human help, it alerts one our trained security operators who can then take over.
Our operators are typically able to act just before or during an unwanted event by executing a list of pre-determined protocols. These can include activating an on-site warning, contacting on-call security guards or management, and calling police dispatch to get officers on-site during the event. This typically leads to proactive deterrence of crimes via sending people fleeing off your property after hearing the audible warning to police escorting perpetrators off the property and arresting criminals.
To learn more about how Stealth’s combination of advanced video analytics and human intelligence can help keep your community’s amenities and common areas safe, contact one of our multifamily specialists today!