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The Problem of the Pilfered Parselings

On October 25, Sean Fallon posted a shocking message to his followers on the Smunchy Games facebook: He had been the victim of mail theft.

Smunchy is in the middle of promoting their new RPG, called Parselings. The shipment that had been tampered with included proofs of Parselings rule book, card decks, and some enamel pins.

The pictures Sean posted included the mailer that was torn open, as well as some of the artwork and other proof material that was left inside.

Smunchy is based out of McLennan County, Texas, about a hundred miles outside of Austin. Austin was named by Safewise Home Security as the 9th most popular metro area for mail thieves during 2018. During the holiday season, Austin rockets up to the top of the list.

It’s estimated that 11 million Americans are the victims of mail theft each year. However, according to the US Postal Inspection Service, only an estimated 2,500 theft suspects were arrested.

When we broke this story, we let gaming retailers in the Austin and Waco metro areas know to be on the lookout for the Parselings materials just in case the thief attempted to sell the stolen items. However, one week on, there has been no sign of the pilfered publications. If by some stroke of luck someone is collared for the crime, under Texas law they could spend between 6 months to 10 years in prison and fines between four and ten thousand dollars.

Smunchy Games is forging ahead despite the setback, which Sean doesn’t believe will affect his project timeline. Parselings is also getting time to shine at the Supanova Comic and Games convention in Adelaide Australia, and we have no doubt the game is going to be a great success when it goes on general release.

What happened to Sean and Smunchy Games can happen to anyone with a home-based business and anyone who regularly receives packages or mail at their doorstep.

There are ways to make things more difficult for package thieves, including your own personal digital locker, much like the ones Amazon has set up at thousands of locations nationwide. Apartment complexes in major cities are beginning to install similar solutions for deliveries from all major carriers – you can ask yours if they’ll be next.

But the most cost-effective option is to go down to your local post office, where you can either rent post office boxes of many sizes, or set up a Hold for Pickup arrangement. You’ll get a card in your mailbox each day there’s a package waiting for you to pick up at your neighborhood post office.

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