What do you think, will this beat package theft or is it over-engineering?

(Screen shot from Kickstarter)

(Screen shot from Kickstarter)

Package theft is a continual problem in DC, especially during the holidays when gifts start to arrive and the number of packages left on porches increases dramatically. There's constantly stories on the listservs about packages being stolen, and people are frustrated.

Just this week a neighbor had two packages stolen in the middle of the day (baby items and skin care, so... good luck with that, dear robber). They caught the crime on video, and the boxes were found torn up in the trash in the alley.

But what if you wanted the packages delivered to your house but leaving the packages exposed on the porch is obviously not an option?

So... a reader sent us this new product on Kickstarter: The BoxLock Home, a lockable box that sits on your porch and has a "smart padlock" on it. Delivery companies scan your package, and that unlocks the box so the package can be left securely. Unless the item is registered in the scanner (you do that), no one can get in. You then get notifications on your phone when packages are delivered.

"To use BoxLock, your delivery driver simply grabs the BoxLock and presses the button on the top to scan the tracking number on your package. Only packages addressed to you and that are actually out for delivery that day will unlock the BoxLock. The driver opens the bin, places your package safely inside, closes the bin and locks the lock. You’ll be notified which package was scanned and that your BoxLock is safely locked with your packages inside."

The Kickstarter price isn't cheap. It starts at $99 dollars and goes up to almost $400, depending upon how many locks and other accessories you want. (More details about it on Kickstarter.) But it may be cheaper than losing deliveries. 

What do you think... is this a good idea or over-engineering the problem?

(And don't forget that places like Town & Country convenience store on Upshur Street is an official UPS drop-off location, so you can have packages delivered there to pick up later in the day, and there other places that do the same around the area. There's even an Amazon Locker at the Safeway at Georgia & Randolph St.)

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.



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