Helena Police say it’s safer to leave your packages outside after delivery driver charged with trespassing, theft

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 12:17 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2023 at 4:23 PM CDT
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HELENA, Ala. (WBRC) - Helena Police are urging you to be careful when it comes to your online shopping deliveries after an Amazon contract worker was arrested this week for burglary and theft.

Helena Police said Jerred Clemons broke into a Helena home while delivering a package and allegedly stole cash from inside. The homeowner was home when Clemons allegedly broke in and stole a small amount of cash. They quickly called police.

“Upon arrival, our officers found out that this individual was in fact delivering packages for Amazon and had allegedly entered the homeowner’s residence without his permission,” Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn said. “He is in fact a employee of a third party contractor that is delivering for Amazon. Something like this, it violates the trust of a lot of us who trust these services to deliver our packages every day.”

Flynn said he knows nobody wants to have a porch pirate steal their delivery, but he said you shouldn’t have a delivery ever scheduled to be dropped off inside your home.

“Never allow an individual with a package delivery service to be able to enter your residence with or without your permission,” he said.

Flynn said Clemons entered the home “unlawfully and without permission” and Amazon officials say drivers are not allowed to enter a customer’s home unless the customer has said so. They do have a keyless program that allows deliveries inside a garage, but not inside a residence.

“Drivers are not permitted to enter a customer’s home unless the customer has made prior arrangements for a specific delivery, such as large or oversized items,” Amazon Spokesperson Branden Baribeau said. “We take these matters seriously and the driver is no longer delivering packages for Amazon.”

“As far as this crime has been concerned, the individual has been removed from the route,” Flynn said. “He has been placed on leave from his employer and is facing charges here pertaining to what he did. We hope that this won’t prevent people from using these types of services, because overwhelmingly, the majority of the individuals that provides these services to us are honest and trustworthy, hardworking people.”

Amazon said all contract drivers go through background screenings.

“To be eligible for the program, Delivery Service Partners (DSPs) must ensure that their delivery associates have a valid driver’s license, pass a criminal background check, motor vehicle record check, and a drug test. We audit DSPs regularly to ensure compliance with Amazon’s requirements, including wage, hour, and benefit requirements,” officials with Amazon said.

Flynn said having drivers leave your package hidden outside is safer than inside or a garage delivery.

“Leave the packages outside,” Flynn said. “If you are concerned about someone possibly taking that package, see if you can notify a neighbor or family member and they could come by and pick it up for you. Most of the delivery services are very aware of the theft risk and try to hide the package, behind different bushes and lawn furniture, stuff like that. To think that this could happen in my home, just like it happened in another residence, bothered me both on a professional and a personal level. I hope that we can use this event to gain some awareness as far as safety when it comes to having packages delivered.”

In a statement, Amazon officials said:

“The vast majority of deliveries make it to customers without issue. If something occurs, we work with customers directly to make it right. We have a variety of ways we work with customers to provide visibility and options to their package delivery ]Amazon’s customer service is also available 24/7 to help customers with any matters related to their package delivery. Amazon customers are able to track their packages through their Amazon app after they have placed their order. Amazon Estimated Delivery Window will provide a 2-4 hour estimated delivery window to help customers plan their day. Customers can also share tracking details with friends or family via Amazon Share Tracking, which allows customers to send a link to the tracking information via SMS, email, or messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Amazon Photo-On-Delivery is another feature we offer. It provides visual delivery confirmation, showing customers that their package was safely delivered and where. These features are available for packages delivered by Amazon Delivery Service Partners and delivery drivers.”

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