If you were a UPS employee, would you be tempted, just occasionally, to open packages? Perhaps, out of curiosity? Or because they didn't smell quite right? Or because they did?
This difficult question arises because of the story of Richard Lynch from Grass Valley, Calif.
Lynch told ABC News 10 that he used UPS to ship a laptop for repairs. The laptop reportedly disappeared en route, the box allegedly arriving with just sheets and soda cans inside.
Keen to prove his notion that someone at UPS has thieved his laptop, Lynch reportedly rigged another package and took it to the UPS store in Auburn, Calif.
The box contained a car alarm and a microphone and, according to Lynch, it could not be set off merely by shaking. No, it had to be opened in order to release the familiar noise that keeps so many awake at night.
Because you have witnessed quite a few one-hour crime shows, you likely know what reportedly happened next.
Within 10 minutes of it being deposited on the UPS counter, the box's car alarm went off. So, it seems, did Lynch's inner fuse.
He went back into the store, camera in hand, in a remonstrative frame of mind. The police were called.
And yet still Lynch hasn't proved his case. He is still unable to show that the box was opened in order to effect a theft.
The manager of the Auburn UPS store told News 10 that he is happy to chat with Lynch in order to hear more of his story. One can only hope that they come to some mutual understanding.
Perhaps the UPS store might hire Lynch as its head of security. Wouldn't that be a happy ending?
Updated 6.35 p.m. PT: Becca Andrews, from corporate communications at the UPS Store contacted me to express the company's concern. She said: "We understand how seeing a story like this can be frustrating for consumers, especially during this time of year when they trust us with their holiday packages. We take matters like this very seriously and are working with both the local franchisee and Mr. Lynch to address the situation."