If there’s one thing I’m always trying to teach my boys to not do, it’s to never, NEVER take anything that does not belong to you. When we go out shopping, whether it’s to the grocery store, the bakery, the mall, wherever, my kids know that stealing is wrong.

The first thing I say before we walk into any store is, “Look with your eyes and not with your hands,” something my parents always told me and my younger brothers when we were kids. They know they can show me something they like, or tell me “Mommy, I really like this,” but if I say I’m not buying it, it’s no, end of story. So I remind them that if they see something they really like, we can put it on a birthday list or Christmas list.

Why do you ask, am I telling you this? As a journalist, I review products for the media outlets I write for, so I’m always being sent packages – beauty products, movies, new food items to try out, etc. Two weeks ago, I was sent a package with a new Tassimo Coffee Brewer (the one with the very cool barcode technology) and it was stolen from my front porch within five minutes of it being delivered.

Now, I’ve had packages delivered to my door and left there until I got home for years now, and nothing has ever gone missing. I’m talking big boxes and small boxes, and no one has ever gone and taken anything. This time I was at work, so no one would be home until sometime in the evening. The courier who was delivering my package called asking if they could leave it, I said no and to wait until someone was home. I didn’t want to risk it being left there all day since it was a big box.

About 10 minutes later, I got another call from the courier saying the driver had left the package on my porch, had gone to make another delivery and came back 5 minutes later after being told not to leave it only to find it had vanished. First of all, the driver should not have left the package without being instructed to do so, as it was a private courier. (I did have stickers on my door saying No Signature Required for DHL, Purolator and FedEx, which have now been removed. But this private courier never leaves anything without being instructed to.)

Second, it was left on a side table on my porch which is hard to see due to the shrubbery I have in front of my porch, so that means this person had seen the driver leave the package and immediately went to take it. I couldn’t believe someone had actually come onto my property to steal something that didn’t belong to them. I was furious and felt so violated, how could someone do this? Really? They didn’t even know what was in the box – it was nothing fancy, the brewer was inside a plain brown box, so there’s no way they could have known what it was. Don’t they know curiosity killed the cat? Well, they lucked out this time and made a clean getaway.

My public relations contact had another package put together, and a time was scheduled for delivery when I would be home. But someone out there had my original package, with my name and number on it, and a note from my PR contact with their contact information too.

To make matters worse, like it could get any worse, this person, this thief, decided one machine wasn’t enough. So they called my contact saying they were my neighbour and wanted to know how they could get a free brewer. I was floored when my contact emailed me to tell me what had happened. Really?! What’s wrong with people? Not only is stealing a crime, but taking someone’s mail is a federal offense.

I couldn’t believe that they had the kahuna’s to pick up the phone to call my contact and ask for another one. Unbelievable. My poor contact was shocked – this was a first for him, for either of us actually.

So now those NSR stickers have been removed from my door, I’ve had to let all my contacts know they have to inform me before sending me any packages to ensure someone will be home to receive it. I can’t believe I’ve had to go through this.

To the person who has stolen my package, I want you to take a good look at yourself in the mirror – is this the type of person you want to be known as? A thief? A criminal? An untrustworthy person? What kind of example are you setting for your children or anyone else you may be a role model to?

It’s really sad that people get thrills from stealing other people’s stuff. Whether you need money or you’re doing it because you can, whatever the reason, it’s wrong, so just don’t do it. I’ve now been contemplating installing a security camera – do I really have to turn my home into Fort Knox? I just don’t get it. Why risk throwing your life away for something so petty?

Have you ever had anything stolen from your home? How did it make you feel?