Thursday, November 9, 2023

Special delivery

New police program offers safe storage option for holiday packages

The Northville Township Police Department takes the protection of residents seriously, including reducing some of the risk of online shopping.

The department has introduced Operation Max's Vault, a temporary package storage solution which allows residents to ship online purchases under 50 pounds to the police department in care of Max's Vault, named for the department support dog. The parcels will be stored in a secured area, officials said, and the package owner must pick up the delivery within five days of arrival. “The goal of this program is to keep the Grinch out of the holiday season,” said Police Chief Scott Hilden. “It will reduce the opportunity for porch pirates to steal packages after they are delivered to a dwelling and left unattended.” 

He expects Operation Max's Vault will tamp down the opportunity for theft. 

In November and December 2022, 83 incidents of package thefts were reported to police in Oakland, Washtenaw and Western Wayne County. 

Additionally, a survey published by SafeWise and Vivint Smart Home in November 2022, reports three in four Americans have had a delivery stolen from their home. It estimates 260 million packages, valued at $19.5 billion, were stolen from porches in the United States in the year prior. 

To ensure the package gets to the correct buyer, police have instituted a secure process to claim the package. The person whose name is on the delivery must provide government-issued identification that matches the name on the shipment. A spouse, friend or other family member cannot come in that person's place. In addition, the shopper must show an order confirmation or receipt, as well as sign a release form.  

Because the police department is a 24-hour operation, residents may claim packages at any time of day. 

Operation Max's Vault will continue until Jan. 1, 2024. 

This service is free and is open to all Northville Township residents. Deliveries must weigh less than 50 pounds and cannot contain hazardous materials, flammable liquids, illegal contraband, live animals, weapons or ammunition. 

To ship a package, use the following addressee format: 

[Recipient Name] 

c/o Max's Vault 

41600 Six Mile Road 

Northville, MI 48168 

Any unclaimed packages after Jan. 1, 2024, will be held at the police department for one week and attempts will be made to contact the owner. If the resident doesn't respond, the packages will be returned to the sender. 

“This unique crime prevention program is an example of how the Northville Township Police Department continues to innovate in order to provide exceptional public service in a professional, creative, responsible manner,” Hilden said.