Columbus, OH

Amazon Hub Lockers provide off-campus students with solution to package theft

The Lantern
Driver Dan Partyka delivers an overnight package last year. Credit: Bob Andres | Atlanta Journal-Constitution via TNS

Ordering a new item online and not receiving it has become a common frustration for off-campus students due to theft, and Amazon Hub Lockers can help curb this issue.

Off-campus homes and apartments are experiencing a high frequency in stolen packages for a multitude of reasons, including unmonitored mailrooms. To combat this issue, some students are opting to have Amazon packages delivered to the Amazon Hub Lockers on High Street.

According to a Lantern Twitter poll , approximately 69 percent of 114 respondents said they have had a package stolen or know someone who has. According to an annual report for , 49 million Americans had at least one package stolen in 2022.

Sgt. David Scarpitti, spokesperson for the Columbus Division of Police, said in an email students should report if they have packages stolen, so Columbus Police can better track and solve these crimes. Scarpitti said he knows “package thefts can be frustrating and financially damaging.”

“We encourage crime victims to file a police report, being as specific as possible when providing both suspect and stolen property information, to increase solvability,” Scarpitti said.

Taylor Stanton, a second-year in public management, leadership and policy, said the exterior layout of her off-campus duplex causes issues with delivery, which leads to theft.

“We have asked our Amazon driver so many times to put our packages on the back porch. They just don’t,” Stanton said. “When they leave it near the front door, it does get stolen very frequently because we can’t hear people knock down there.”

In addition to getting stolen, Stanton said sometimes boxes are ripped into and the package is tampered with.

“One of my roommates actually had someone open it out front, and they just left it open because they didn’t want it,” Stanton said.

Grace Blanchong, a third-year in psychology, said she has dealt with similar issues at her apartment on Lane Avenue.

“My package wasn’t taken. It was cut into, and the contents of the package were taken, which was very interesting,” Blanchong said. “Once I started talking to people in the rest of the complex, it turns out it had been happening with them too.”

Blanchong said the mailroom on the basement floor of her apartment is not properly monitored, allowing thieves easy access. She said it’s “hidden away from Lane Avenue” but isn’t locked.

Blanchong said she immediately decided to use the Amazon Hub Lockers after her package was cut into to decrease the risk of it happening again.

“It’s a super easy experience, and it’s really convenient because it’s on my walk home from a lot of classes or work,” Blanchong said. “I definitely feel a lot better to prevent packages from getting stolen but then also prevent them from getting delivered to the wrong place.”

According to Amazon’s customer service , once the package arrives, the company will send a confirmation email with instructions on how to retrieve it. Customers can collect their packages within “three calendar days.” If it is not picked up in that time frame, Amazon will refund the purchase and take the package back. The lockers are 6 feet by 1 foot and 10 inches deep, and expanders can be added that are 3 feet by 1 foot and 10 inches deep.

Stanton said using the lockers simply involves notifying Amazon “that you want it to go to your nearest pickup location.”

“Whenever the item does arrive, you will receive a barcode and then you just go into the Amazon store and scan the barcode,” Stanton said.

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