Homebuilder hopes to deter porch pirates in Las Vegas

With shoppers increasingly buying online, the threat of “porch pirates” stealing packages off your doorstep is only rising.

A new housing development in Summerlin is poised to have lockers that, backers say, will keep deliveries safe.

Irvine, California-based Parcel Pending has announced that its Smart Home Lockers will be installed in luxury builder Toll Brothers’ Mesa Ridge community.

Mesa Ridge, a 322-home project off Town Center Drive near Tropicana Avenue, will already have above-average security with its guard-gated entrance. But the lockers, which will be included with every home purchase, could give homeowners peace of mind knowing their packages are locked up and — as Toll Brothers group President Gary Mayo noted — shielded from the weather.

Right now, packages are “just out in the open,” said Mayo, who oversees Toll’s Las Vegas operations.

Toll bought Mesa’s 128-acre project site last summer for $69 million from Summerlin developer Howard Hughes Corp. Mayo said that model homes are being built and that buyers have signed more than 15 sales contracts.

He declined to say how much it cost for Toll to buy the lockers, or whether the Pennsylvania-based builder plans to install them in other single-family housing developments.

The lockers, which weigh almost 200 pounds each, will be built into the homes and have three compartments of different sizes, each with its own door. Outside, the courier unlocks a compartment by scanning it or entering a code, and the resident, who is notified of the delivery via text message or other ways, picks up the parcel from inside the house, Parcel Pending CEO Lori Torres said.

As Mayo described it, lockers in Mesa Ridge’s homes will be built into the side of the garage.

Torres, who founded Parcel Pending in 2013 and recently sold it to France-based Neopost for more than $100 million, said her lockers are installed in 48 states and in Canada. They are used in apartment complexes, office buildings and retail stores, but this is the company’s first rollout at a new single-family housing development, she said.

It’s unclear how widespread porch piracy is in Southern Nevada. Las Vegas police spokesman Aden OcampoGomez said the Metropolitan Police Department does not track package theft from homes, indicating that such crimes, depending on the item’s value, could be classified under the broader categories of petty or grand larceny.

But according to a nationwide survey commissioned by telecommunications giant Comcast, which announced the results in November, nearly one in four people was a victim of package theft, and almost half knew someone who was.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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