Spate of missing packages at local UPS stores; one employee linked to ‘multiple incidents’

Police reports show employee worked at locations where items went missing

CANTON, Mass. — An estimated 1.7 million packages are lost or stolen every day across the country. Some packages are swiped right from the recipient’s front door while others never even make it that far.

After getting a tip from a Boston 25 News employee who lost a rare Mac Jones trading card after bringing it for shipping to a Canton UPS store, 25 Investigates began reviewing police reports mentioning the store, which were obtained through public records request. A pattern of complaints soon emerged and one man’s name kept coming up – 25-year-old Seth Silbert from Easton.

Silbert is the son of the man who owns the Canton store and two other UPS stores in Massachusetts. He’s been working for his father since he was a teen.

Among the items mentioned in the police reports was a Sony PlayStation, which the owner had sold on eBay to a customer in Arizona for $750.

“It was my first time dealing with UPS,” said Dutka, a computer science major at UMass Boston. “The customer from Arizona said, ‘Hey, you know, I received an empty box without the PS-5.’ I was really like panicking because this money was used to pay off for college. I needed to get books.”

It turns out the PlayStation never left Massachusetts. A Canton Police Report obtained by 25 Investigates says Silbert put it in the trunk of his car and sold it to a UPS delivery driver for $600.

Other items we found in the police reports include a pair of “Nike SB cough sneakers” and the Mac Jones football card reported missing by the Boston 25 News employee. The card is valued at $3,500.

In June 2018 when a pair of Air Jordan sneakers went missing, a police report says one of Silbert’s co-workers told an inquiring customer that “boxes have gone ‘missing’ when [Seth Silbert] is in the store.”

Robert Plausse, a Canton resident, said he rented a mailbox at his local UPS store for nearly three years before closing his account in 2020.

“I started to hear the chatter about missing packages at this UPS store,” he said.

When two of his Amazon deliveries disappeared, he notified Silbert’s father, the store owner. But instead of concern, the owner began “swearing at me, calling me out,” according to Plausse.

Silbert’s father also owns the UPS store in Walpole. 25 Investigates learned Seth used to work at that location too.

Reports we obtained from Walpole Police date back to 2017 and indicate a number of valuable items have gone missing from that store. Among the items listed as missing are: a laptop and US passport, $1300 in Walmart gift cards, gold jewelry and 18 iPhones packaged in one box.

The iPhone were being shipped by the Norwood Police Department to a phone reseller. According to a June 2017 police report, 10 of those phones ended up on eBay after Silbert allegedly sold them to a friend.

The Walpole police detective who worked the case indicated Silbert has been “the suspect in numerous other thefts….and singled out by his co-worker’s and other UPS employees as….responsible.”

25 Investigates wanted to get Silbert’s side of the story. Investigative reporter Ted Daniel approached him outside of his Easton home explaining that his name was mentioned in a number of police reports about missing items at the UPS stores he has worked at. Silbert declined to address the situation or information contained in the reports. But before walking into his house and closing the garage door said that he “was not privy to the information nor do I want to speak about it.”

We shared our findings with consumer advocate, Edgar Dworsky, a former Assistant Attorney General. He says people should always get a receipt when they ship a package. And if the items are valuable, customers should make sure to declare the value and pay extra for loss, damage and theft coverage.

“When I’ve packed up an item, I will take a picture of the box,” said Dworsky, adding that even if taking a picture seems like overkill it’s important for verification. “If consumers have a lost item, they really should make a police report.”

Sources tell 25 Investigates Silbert hasn’t been seen at any of his father’s stores since September.

He’s charged with one count of larceny for the Playstation theft. The only other theft-related charge we could find involves the Norwood Police iPhones but that charge was dismissed in court.

25 Investigates reached out to Silbert’s father, the owner of the stores, for comment. By email, he directed us to speak with the UPS store corporate office.

According to the police reporters we reviewed, UPS security has been aware of Silbert’s alleged connection to missing valuable since 2017. So we asked them why more wasn’t done.

They didn’t respond to our question directly, but in a statement a spokesperson said:

“The trust of our customers is a top priority and we take these allegations seriously. As the situation is ongoing, we continue cooperating with authorities. If these allegations are proven to be true, it is a breach of trust and we intend to take swift and strong action, as appropriate, to make it right.”

Vlad Dutka, the UMass Boston student, says that while he’s glad eBay reimbursed him for the missing Sony Playstation, he’ll be more cautious next time he ships a package.

“Why risk your job for a PS5?” questioned Dutka. “I’m more disappointed at UPS for allowing that to happen than anything else.”

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