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Woman Sets Trap for Suspected Package Thief, Here’s What Happened

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A New York woman who suspected someone was stealing packages from outside her door has come up with a unique way of dealing with the thief.

Package thefts represent a major problem faced by millions of Americans. In October 2023, a poll of over 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Security.org found that 17 percent of Americans had had a package stolen over the previous three months.

The same survey found that 44 percent of adults polled had also suffered the misfortune of having a package taken from outside their property at some point in their life. Artist and digital creator Taylor Quitara Davis is certainly no stranger to the phenomenon.

“Stolen packages in New York City is something I’ve learned to get used to,” Davis told Newsweek. “Especially if you live in a building without a doorman.”

A recent spate of incidents prompted Davis to take action. Initially, she thought the alleged thefts were isolated incidents. But the frequency of packages disappearing and the manner in which things seemed to be disappearing sparked concern.

Over the past month, she estimates as many as four packages went missing from outside her door. In a further twist, whoever was picking them up began opening them and cherry-picking certain items.

The alleged package thief trap.
The decoy package trap. The viral video ended up having a surprising effect.

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“The package thief started being picky and opening the boxes, taking what they wanted and leaving behind the rest,” she said. “The thief wanted nothing to do with the skincare and makeup I ordered but stole a really nice Jolie shower head I ordered not once but twice.”

From the get-go, Davis knew catching whoever it might be was almost impossible.

“There’s no real solution to catching a package stealer because it’s hard to catch them in action and get the proof,” she said.

However, she hatched a plan to try to at least put whoever it was off doing it again.

“I knew the weirder I could make this experience for them, the better chance I had of them stopping,” she said. “In other words, the crazier they think I am, maybe they will move along.”

She got herself an empty cardboard box and filled it with messages guaranteed to leave the package pilferer feeling a little perturbed. One message, written in block capitals, declared: “I KNOW YOU PACKAGE STEALER.”

Another said “UNACCEPTABLE” with a third warning: “I HAVE A PHOTO OF YOUR FACE AND KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE. APOLOGIZE OR ELSE.”

Davis added an extra layer of absurdity to the proceedings by including a lemon with a face drawn on it. Thus, the package had the necessary weighty feel and ensured that whoever took it was not left entirely empty-handed.

The video ended with Davis setting the trap. What happened next was surprising: “I discovered they live inside my building,” she said.

There’s more than that, though.

The video of her setting the trap was posted to TikTok (@taylorquitara) where it subsequently went viral, amassing close to one million views in a matter of days. That proved crucial, Davis said.

“The minute the video blew up, all the stealing stopped, and all of the decoy packages I placed were untouched,” she said. “So even though there wasn’t a grand reveal yet as to who did it, I think it still was successful.”

Davis would like her efforts to inspire others to take a stand, albeit in a friendly and fair way, rather than anything too gross.

“I hope that people can stand up for themselves and still be silly and kind,” she said, sharing some tips for anyone plotting their own package sting operation.

“It’s a hard issue to fix, but I think we can all start by using the element of surprise, glitter boxes, and creative methods to get them to think twice,” Davis said.