Video: Package thief caught on surveillance camera

It’s the holidays which means more packages than usual will be making their way to the doorsteps of neighborhood homes. Package theft is a common, growing problem in San Francisco.

On Wednesday, November 23 at 1:50pm, a reader captured a package thief on his surveillance video outside his home on 29th Avenue near Lake Street.

In the video, the man approaches the house, walks past it and turns back and forth, making sure no is watching him. He then strides up the stairs and out of view of the camera, and then comes back into view holding a small box.

The package was from macys.com, and our reader says it contained women’s makeup. The theft was reported to the police. If you recognize this man, please contact the Richmond District Police station and reference case #T16034224.

Ways to protect against package theft

Package theft is a common occurrence in San Francisco. Last week’s Richmond District Police Blotter advised readers on the danger: “If you cannot be home, try and have the package delivered to a work address, a PO Box, or any alternate address where someone will be available to accept it.”

Tech has even taken on the challenge with services like Doorman, which allows customers to ship their online purchases to the company, and then use an app to schedule the delivery between 6pm – midnight, any day of the week. If you’re headed out of town, they’ll even store packages for up to 30 days. Doorman charges $7 for a la carte usage of the service, or you can purchase a monthly plan for $29 – $89.

Amazon also started Amazon Locker, where you can find dropboxes across the city to pick up your delivery at a time that’s convenient for you. Once your package is delivered to the Amazon Locker, you’ll receive an e-mail notification with a unique pickup code that includes the address and opening times for your selected Locker location.

You then have three days to pickup your Amazon package from the locker. Here in the Richmond District, there is an Amazon Locker at the 7-Eleven on the corner of 15th and Geary. Amazon does not charge a fee for the service but it does not offer it for all Amazon purchases. Lockers can only accommodate boxes that are smaller than 16.5 x 13.8 x 12.6 inches and weigh less than 10 pounds.

You can also rent a PO box at the Post Office (3245 Geary or 5654 Geary) where prices start at $39 for 3 months for the smallest box.

Or you can get a delivery address at places like the UPS Store at 5758 Geary near 22nd Avenue. They will accept packages for you, and then text or email you when your packages arrive.

If you’re shopping online this holiday season, think about where and when your packages will be delivered so you can avoid falling prey to package theft.

Sarah B.

An Amazon Locker inside a store in New York. A similar locker is available at the 7-Eleven store at 5100 Geary here in the Richmond District.

An Amazon Locker inside a store in New York. A similar locker is available at the 7-Eleven store at 5100 Geary here in the Richmond District.


  1. I’m more concerned with that driver unable to parallel park in the background.

  2. Or you can shop local, supporting the businesses that support the community while also having your goods handed to you by a real person who lives and works in your community.

  3. What would really helps would UPS drivers who actually ring the doorbell. I’m often home when packages get delivered, but they don’t bother to knock or ring the bell. Oh and my personal favorite, when they deliver the packages to my garage where everyone can see the package, not even bothering to walk up the steps….

  4. Neighbors: For my father’s 70th birthday, I had some 40+ year old family movies digitized. FedEx left the box – which also contained the originals – on my porch and someone stole it. The company is called Legacybox and the package was delivered on 11/29 around 10 a.m.
    The films are irreplaceable to me but without any value to a thief. I am heartbroken thinking about them winding up in the trash. If anyone finds three Super 8 films in gold cases and/or a thumbdrive or DVD from Legacybox, please message me here or drop them off at Japonica on 17th and Clement.
    Thank you and happy holidays.

  5. @Heather – That is horrible, so sorry to hear that. Did LegacyBox have a backup copy for you so at least all is not lost?

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