Service of Taking Without Asking: What’s Yours is Mine

February 3rd, 2022

Categories: Apartment Living, Stealing

A friend shared this incident: On her return from shopping she’d briefly left on the landing at her apartment a large package of toilet paper. When she returned to get it one roll was missing. A neighbor later admitted he’d run out and would replace the one he’d taken when he went to the store.

She’d left her detergent in the apartment’s laundry room and discovered that someone had helped themselves to a significant amount leaving no note about restitution.

She knows a person who retrieved her newspaper from the hallway outside her apartment door where it was delivered daily and one morning could tell that someone had already read it. The culprit: a neighbor’s house guest.

A while back a friend had a similar experience. She lived in an apartment house with many neighbors on her floor. After she’d complained to the delivery service that she wasn’t getting her paper she discovered that one of her neighbors was purloining it. [I don’t have that problem although there are lots of neighbors on my floor as I receive my papers digitally.]

Only once in three years in my current apartment house did a package meant for me disappear. The sender’s tracking confirmed delivery. There is no explanation other than door staff gave it to the wrong tenant who kept it or it was dropped off to the wrong apartment house. This Christmas one of the packages I mailed was taken from a private home–a first in decades. Tracking reported it had arrived. Sadly nobody returned it. It was a first–all other Christmas or birthday packages misplaced over the years were rescued and eventually arrived at their destinations.

Has anyone taken something from you without asking and returned it–or not?

9 Responses to “Service of Taking Without Asking: What’s Yours is Mine”

  1. Hussein Ahman-Uttah Said:

    No, but recently i discovered that the USPS doesnt keep records of package delivery addresses unless a package is insured! I have now had two packages reported as being delivered to my building on a certain date and time. But the building has no record of delivery and there is no signature or name of the person who signed for them.

  2. lucrezia Said:

    I forget about things and keep them, so I no longer “borrow.” The borrowers are equally forgetful, so I’m stuck with things I don’t really want — and the years go by!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:


    That’s scary news. I spent $21 to send the stolen Christmas parcel to California–and it wasn’t big or heavy. So I’m supposed to pay more? I would think asking/paying for a signature would be better than paying extra for insurance but maybe the signature comes with a request for insurance.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I don’t have a relationship with my neighbors where I’d ask to borrow the traditional cup of sugar. If I did, I wonder –especially during a pandemic–the best way to return it! In a baggie? I clean plastic container? Would they be safe microbe-wise in using it?

  5. Eileen Dover Said:

    My neighbor and I joke how our wrong mail/deliveries keep us in touch! Three houses in a row have same numbers but different street address. Our city planner needed a crystal ball to know how confusing this would be for Amazon and UberEats! I’ve installed a Ring doorbell which helps catch things on camera. UPS realized they left a package at the wrong address and came back…hilarious! Porch pirate at its best!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    The city planner must have been distracted unless he/she was hoping to help neighbors meet one another naturally. Otherwise your same number-different street– sounds nuts.

    I love the idea of a camera that catches activity outside of a doorway. If I owned a house I’d look into such a thing pronto!

  7. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: Not yet [maybe a hand towel in the laundry many years ago].

  8. Martha T Takayama Said:

    I have had experiences of this sort, but not for quite a while. What I remember most is newspapers.
    My building has 24 hour concierge service which is fairly effective. I do know that apartment buildings and private homes in my town have suffered lots of theft of delivered packages. With growth of online shopping there doesn’t seem any way to remedy this in the near future anyway.

  9. Joan Cear Said:

    Joan on Facebook: We love this show. I wish I could find other programs to watch that leave me feeling happy and are not just momentary entertainment.

Leave a Reply