Kevin Harrington told CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff he was shocked by what Amazon told him to do.
Harrington, a landscaper, made the strange discovery in Huntington on Feb. 22.
"It's 20 odd undelivered Amazon Prime packages. So, I try to do the right thing and I put it in my car. I take it to the 2nd [police] precinct," he said.
Harrington said Suffolk Police advised him to contact Amazon. He did, and was surprised by the company's response.
Amazon would not pick them up, and told Harrington to "dispose of the packages as you see fit."
"They basically told me to keep the stuff, and I just thought that that was an outrage. It's not my stuff to keep," said Harrington.
Harrington said it posed a moral dilemma. He wasn't comfortable opening what other people were waiting for.
"Somebody ordered masks. They're waiting for it. I opened three packages and by the time I got to the third package, I didn't want to open any more. It's not my stuff, man," he said.
The public weighed in with hundreds of comments on social media.
"Why isn't Amazon concerned the packages were not delivered?" one user wrote.
"Donate them, Amazon will replace them," another wrote.
"Drop them off yourself to people's houses," said another user.
"It's not my job to return them. I'm not the Amazon guy," Harrington said.
One package was addressed to Gail Pinnella, who sees privacy issues with Amazon's directions.
Amazon replaced her order. But the original, which was left on the side of a road, was marked as delivered.
CBS2 reached out to Amazon, which said it's investigating and customer service teams are in the process of retrieving the packages.
An Amazon spokesperson sent the following statement to CBS2:
We have high standards for delivery service partners and expect every package to be handled with care. We've notified the right teams internally and will work with the customer(s) directly on matters related to their package delivery.
The U.S. Postal Service confirmed the packages that were dumped were not theirs.
"If you're going to get into this business, act like the post office. The post office would have had postal police here by now investigating this," said Harrington.
Suffolk Police are investigating. On Friday afternoon, Harrington was directed to return the packages to the precinct.
Harrington also pointed out opening someone else's mail is a crime, and wondered why no one seemed to care about the privacy of the packages until now.
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