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A Grassroots Response

Inner Sunset Neighborhood San Francisco

This website is dedicated to making the Inner Sunset a vibrant neighborhood for people of all walks of life in a truly democratic way.

Neighborhood Watch

Idea to thwart package thefts

If everyone put out empty boxes/ envelope packages at their front doors, this would cause package thieves to have to check every house. Having stairs for them to go up would make it more of a workout.

People would have to put out 1 to 3 boxes and change them up because thieves would catch on if people put just one box i.e. the house with more than one would definitely have a delivery.

People could put a weight in the packages to further cause them to work. The trick with weight is that you do not want it to be something that comes back at you. Below are weight ideas that would have no value but would not cause a big mess. Most thieves seem to be opening the box right away or soon after leaving. If you have a weight idea that could be added to the list please contact me at:

The concept: “The first methods of transferring or distributing risk in a monetary economy were practiced by Chinese and Babylonian traders in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, respectively. Chinese merchants traveling treacherous river rapids would redistribute their wares across many vessels to limit the loss due to any single vessel's capsizing.” In our case, we are distributing theft opportunities by distributing risk across the neighborhood to allow more packages to get through. We are creating the “river rapids” for the thieves. It will at the very least slow them down and frustrate them. If we are able to overwhelm, they may move on to other neighborhoods, to more tranquil waters.

It would be like a big neighborhood shell game/ insurance.

Over time, one other benefit you will learn is the rate of theft from your front door and the days of the week that have a higher occurrence.

The concept is not vigilantism. Vigilantism can be done by an individual. Vigilantism is illegal in that you can’t retaliate and cause harm or what can be perceived as harm like exploding glitter, dye, any type of poop (biohazard).

Possible Weights:

- Sand in a box or bag

- Water in a soda or used water bottle. In a bag or zip lock bag, which makes it harder to throw or cause damage. In a rubber balloon(s), though it brings up the idea of throwing them. If the water balloon is only filled to a certain point, it will not break easily.

- Junk that looks like it may still have some value that the thief will take away. An appliance that does not work well.

- Books