By Sabina Mollot
For over a year, residents in some buildings in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper have had to deal with their lobbies being subjected to package pileups.
Rather than deliver packages directly to tenants’ apartments, the boxes have been left to pile up into small towers in lobbies, in some cases, tenants have said, creating a fire hazard when the boxes obstruct the doors from being able to fully open.
Additionally, last week, Susan Steinberg, president of the Tenants Association, told T&V that this situation didn’t look like it was going to change any time soon.
Last Monday, Steinberg said as she was about to leave a building in Peter Cooper, she caught up with a UPS driver who informed her that door deliveries were “always a courtesy.”
After complaining about the package pileups, Steinberg said the driver explained that the volume of packages has gotten so high that, “We can’t do it anymore or we can’t finish our rounds.”
Steinberg added that she was told at a past meeting with CompassRock that management has spoken with the different carriers about this issue. But since that hasn’t seemed to help, the Tenants Association will be bringing up the issue with management again.
“We’re going to talk about it again at our next meeting,” she said. In the meantime, Steinberg said, “I hate to say it, but use Oval Concierge or ask for a signature. But a lot of people work so that’s not going to be handy.” Packages, she said, have been left by the USPS as well as UPS, and other carriers.
Town & Village reached out to a UPS spokesperson, Dan McMackin, who later said that a local UPS center manager was aware of tenants’ complaints.
McMackin said the manager also told him he would “address this concern immediately.” However, the manager, whose name wasn’t provided to T&V, also seemed convinced that the driver who left packages in the lobbies last Monday wasn’t the regular driver assigned to Peter Cooper Village. “He has been with UPS for 25 years and he would never leave packages in the lobby,” the manager told McMackin in an email. “However,” he added, “there are, on occasion, other drivers I have go into these buildings to deliver and I will make it clear to them that all deliveries will be made to the apartments and never the lobby.”
Congetta Chirichello, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service, would only tell T&V that the matter was “being reviewed and investigated by postal management.”
Both the USPS and UPS were contacted last week, and while the problem hasn’t stopped since then, this Tuesday, Steinberg told T&V that the pileups have improved somewhat in the past few days.
A spokesperson for CWCapital, Brian Moriarty, declined to comment on the issue.
In related news, on Tuesday, a man was caught allegedly trying to steal packages from a building in Peter Cooper.
A resident, who asked that her name not be published here, wrote on the Tenants Association’s Facebook page about witnessing the man lurk around in the building around 5:30 p.m.
“I walked in my building today with my child and saw an unfamiliar person within my building,” she said. “He looked odd and out of place so I called security once I got into my apartment. They just called back to say thank you as the odd character was in fact stealing packages by the mail boxes. He had clearly entered the building on the back of someone else. It only takes a phone call; trust your instincts and look out for your community’s safety.”
A comment by a TA mod then mentioned that Public Safety in ST/PCV had been on the lookout for a man who’d been following delivery people into buildings, and packages “being stolen or rifled through in PCV and ST.”
The mod, “Peter Stuyvesant,” added, “One perpetrator was caught a while ago, and now this one. If you’ve had a package stolen, you should report it to the company you purchased it from or the delivery company. They should have a records that it was delivered. But you should also alert PS (Public Safety) because the theft may be part of a larger pattern.”
A spokesperson for the NYPD said she didn’t have any information about a theft or burglary in that location, which was 420 East 23rd Street.
However, the resident who made the post later gave T&V a description of the man, who was 5 ft. 9 ins., slightly overweight, probably in his late 30s with olive skin and dark hair. She said he looked out of place because he was wearing a poncho and was carrying an empty bag. He was also slightly disheveled looking and behaving suspiciously, she recalled.
“The fact that he was picking up a letter that was lying on the side where packages normally would be, just to avoid eye contact seemed odd,” she said.
Additionally, he appeared to be loitering as opposed to being on his way in or out.
She added that she didn’t see packages out in the open when she walked in, but was also concerned about packages that are left out in front of tenants’ apartment doors.
“I’m surprised they don’t put up notices at the entry points that there are cameras and you shouldn’t enter the buildings unless you’re buzzed in,” she said.