Baltimore among top 10 worst cities for Amazon package theft

Baltimore landed among the top 10 U.S. cities with the highest rates of Amazon package theft, a new study shows.

The city ranks eighth in prevalence of theft of Amazon deliveries, according to an analysis on behalf of Chicago-based Shorr Packaging Corp.

“As Amazon and other massive online retailers popularize their services at a dizzying rate, doorsteps and mail rooms across the country remain vulnerable,” the report said.

Researchers based the rankings of the 50 biggest U.S. cities on Google searches of “Amazon package stolen” and population.

“If people are searching for ‘Amazon package stolen,’ that indicates with some likelihood that they’re searching because they had a package stolen,” said Andy Kerns of Digital Third Coast, which conducted the survey for Shorr. The study shows that package theft “is both on the rise and that people are mobilizing quickly to deal with it.”

Amazon says the majority of deliveries get to customers without problems. The online giant offers services such as Amazon Map Tracking, which lets customers monitor delivery progress on a map in real time, and says it works with customers to address any issues.

The online retailer says it also offers options such as Amazon Locker, self-service delivery locations in Baltimore and other cities, and Amazon Key, which enables in-home deliveries, also available in Baltimore. A newer feature, Amazon Key In-Car, gives those with compatible vehicles an inside-the car alternative.

The Shorr study found package theft is pervasive in technology hubs with high concentrations of wealth, such as San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boston and Washington, while the top 10 cities also had high rates of larceny-theft, according to FBI national crime statistics from 2016.

Baltimore’s eighth-place ranking was based on an average of 70 searches per month and a population of 611,000. Researchers say the number of searches represents a small fraction of theft victims.

New York had the highest number of average searches per month, at 390, but did not rank in the top 10 because of a larger population than other cities. San Francisco, Seattle and Minneapolis ranked in the top three.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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