Published March 21, 2017
Volume 1, Number 3

Deep Sentinel Uses Technology to Protect Mail

By Tina Hansen
Pulse Writer

All personal property theft feels like an invasion in your life that leaves you frightened, but mail theft is different because you might not realize your mail has been stolen or exactly what mail was stolen. The thief, however, typically has one goal in mind when they steal your mail: they want your identity.

Despite being a Federal crime and more serious than a home burglary, what makes mail theft different is the very low chance your mail will be recovered which creates a feeling of being defenseless and exposed.  

Leave it to cutting edge technology to advance a solution and Hacienda’s Deep Sentinel to come up with an answer. The company has developed software that takes photos of a stranger as they approach and open up your mailbox, and then sends an alert to your phone.

“Our goal is to prevent the crime while it is in progress,” says David Selinger, co-founder of Deep Sentinel. “In the case of mail theft, the software is actually able to identify a person who is stopped and loitering in front of your mailbox and run it through artificial intelligence.” After an alert is sent via mobile app, Selinger says they can “launch a drone intervention.”

“The drone is programmed to protect the mailbox, it sends the drone to protect and identify right in front of the mailbox. We are also building a set of interventions like speaking to the person, using drones to intervene in the midst of committing a crime,” he says.

The methods criminals use today for stealing mail vary widely, but they are increasingly more sophisticated and planned, not to mention brazen. For homes with mailboxes attached to the house, thieves are approaching the home’s front door without hesitation. Deep Sentinel’s system will start recording when someone approaches the front door or mailbox, and it will send an alert in response.

Deep Sentinel’s software is also compatible with a majority of home surveillance camera systems so the systems would also send other alerts that warrant your attention, like a security breach.

According to the Pleasanton Police Department, even after the arrest of two mail thieves late last year, the Tri-Valley has experienced an increase in mail theft in recent years. Thieves target individual homes, community mail stands, as well as businesses, to steal mail over time with the goal of taking a piece here and there, both incoming and outgoing, until they have all the information needed to commit identity theft. Others will create elaborate schemes to steal mail from multiple people over time with the hope of getting checks, credit card or bank information.

For Deep Sentinel co-founder David Selinger, this new business is the latest venture in a long list of technology companies he has started, and he has big plans for its success. The software is in beta testing in a select number of homes and Deep Sentinel will be launching their product this year.

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