A man who found 20 Amazon packages dumped this week on a friend's property he uses in Huntington Station said he tried to get the multinational e-commerce giant and Suffolk County police to help him resolve the issue, only to be rebuffed.
On Friday, after numerous media inquiries, police asked Kevin Harrington to surrender the packages for them to further investigate the puzzling incident.
"They want to quote-unquote 'inventory' it," Harrington, 64, a grandfather from Ronkonkoma, said. "I'm just happy it's out of my hands.
"I just want it all to go to the right place."
Harrington said he found the packages — boxes and mailer envelopes — on the lot, where Harrington keeps landscaping and construction equipment along Eighth Avenue Monday. His first thought, he said, was someone had illegally dumped garbage on the property. But closer inspection led Harrington to determine the packages were all undelivered goods ordered from Amazon.
Harrington said he loaded the packages into his car and drove to the nearby Suffolk County Police Second Precinct but said that while officers "were honestly helpful" they told him the items would probably end up in evidence storage — and suggested he call Amazon, instead. Which is what Harrington said he did.
An Amazon spokeswoman said Friday afternoon that "the team is investigating" the incident. Later Friday afternoon she said, "We've notified the right teams internally" and customer service personnel were in the process of retrieving the packages.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service said in an email: "A local investigation of this matter confirms that these dumped items were not among the thousands of packages Long Island residents trust USPS to deliver on a daily basis."
Harrington said he had spoken with an Amazon customer service representative, who asked for the package tracking numbers.
Next, Harrington said, the representative asked for his Amazon account number.
"The customer service manager told me, 'Your number doesn't correspond to any of the deliveries, so there's nothing we can do,'" Harrington said.
Harrington said that was to be expected, since he hadn't ordered any of the items, but that he was nevertheless told there was nothing that Amazon could — or would — do to come and retrieve the packages from him.
"I said, 'You've got a truck that drives past my property every day, can't someone stop and pick them up?'" Harrington said. "I was told, 'Sorry, we can't do that' and then the person told me to dispose of the packages as I see fit.
"If Amazon is going to be in the business of delivering packages they should deliver them."
One of the customers whose package was dumped on the Huntington Station lot said she was "annoyed" by how the situation was handled by Amazon.
"I got a message saying my package had been delivered," said Gail Pinnella of Huntington Station, who said her order for children's scissors and stickers was supposed to be delivered while her granddaughter was at her home. But, she said, it wasn't — despite what Amazon said.
In fact, Pinnella said she checked her yard for the missing package and checked video surveillance at her home and found no trace the driver ever stopped there.
Amazon told Pinnella she needed to wait 24 hours "to see if it turned up," but she said she pestered the e-commerce giant until it re-sent the order.
"It was just annoying," she said.
With Cecilia Dowd