Downtown loft residents warn about package thefts

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Downtown loft resident Laura Griffin thought it was odd when she got a call that flowers were being delivered to her Printer's Row loft and the delivery man needed to be buzzed into the building.

"I wasn't expecting flowers, so I was a bit surprised" Griffin said.  "So I buzzed him in and told him to leave them in the lobby and I would come down and get them" she said.

Instead, surveillance video shows the man walking into the building empty handed and leaving just seconds later with two packages from the mail area.

"He did it very causally, like he had done it 1,000 times" said Griffin.  "It was upsetting to say the least" she said.

"As a resident, it was disconcerting" said neighbor John Ricroft.  "Then as I learned more that it's happening throughout the city not just downtown but other areas as well" he said.

Just a couple of blocks away at the Ely Walker Lofts on Washington Ave, resident Sterling Coffey took video inside of his mail room showing a number of packages opened or rummaged through

"Since then there's been lax maintenance, lax security a lot more events like this have been occurring" Coffey said.

In both cases, the buildings utilize intercom systems to allow guests to be buzzed inside, but there's no way to verify someone is who they say they are.

"A lot of time people are kind of lax about that because friends just come and go but otherwise people might impersonate themselves" Coffey said.

Residents are hopeful the package thieves are caught, but until then, they're reminding each other to stay safe.

"Don't let our guards down thinking that we're in an area that that won't occur because that can still occur" Ricroft said.

Other buildings in the loft district are alerting their residents of similar crimes and urging everyone to be mindful who they let in their buildings.

Building management reminds residents that delivery drivers like FedEx, UPS and the USPS all have codes to get into buildings and should not be asking individual residents to allow them inside of a building.