Amid Package Theft Epidemic in Hoboken, Police Say They're Making Quick Arrests

There's been an epidemic of package thieves in Hoboken in recent weeks, but police are reporting an equally stunning number of arrests.

The most recent thief was caught by two cops ending their shift a block from where he allegedly swiped four packages from a building, police said. 

Resident Phil Portuesi was one recent victim.

"Got the email it was delivered, I looked at the tracking, and it wasn't there," he said. 

The packages are left just inside normally locked doors in buildings across the square-mile waterfront city, but there are no doormen. And seemingly just as fast as carriers drop them off, thieves have been getting in and getting away. 

But police have managed to catch them just as quickly. Over the past month, they've made an arrest almost every three days, for a total of nine so far. 

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante says burglaries last year were down 28 percent. But his officers and detectives are on high alert for package thieves. 

"It's without a doubt a 21st-century tech crime, because of e-commerce, people get a lot of deliveries during the day," said Ferrante. 

Hoboken Police Captain Charles Campbell said they've reminded residents, "Don't leave the packages in the common-area hallway, don't leave a note on the door that says 'I'm not home.'"

"Do people listen to this advice? They do not," he said. 

In fact, residents seem willing to take the risk.

"Even if it did happen to me, I don't think it would change my mode of operation. It's too convenient," said Michael Goldberg.

Even Portuesi, a victim, seemed reluctant to change future deliveries. 

"If it's something really valuable, I'll get it delivered to work, but then again, depends how big it is. Do I really want to lug something massive home?" he said. 

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