More people than ever are shopping online due to the COVID pandemic. The increase in online shopping means more opportunities for porch pirates to steal packages from your front porch. An estimated 210 million packages were stolen in 2021, according to SafeWise Security. Chances are, you may have already fallen victim to package theft.
Wondering how to stop porch piracy? Here are some ideas to help keep package bandits at bay.
How To Stop Porch Pirates from Stealing Your Packages
1. Require a SignatureThe most obvious way to deter package theft from porch pirates is by requiring a signature upon delivery. Signatures will often have an additional cost, but it’s worth it if the item inside is valuable.
You need to be home when the package is delivered, but ensuring that you’re home to receive the package leaves no opportunity for people to steal it. Of course, this may not always be the most convenient option unless you have someone at home who can sign for it.
2. Sign Up for Delivery Updates
Nearly every delivery service like USPS, UPS, and FedEx offers package tracking. Sign up to get delivery notifications to your phone or email so you can keep an eye on your package’s whereabouts. Whenever the package is out for delivery or if it’s been delivered, you can get a text alert to grab it before porch pirates have a chance to snatch your order.
If you’re not home to grab the package from the door, it’ll be a good idea to ask someone you trust, such as a nearby neighbor or your apartment’s property manager to retrieve it for you.
3. Install a Video DoorbellHope to catch package thieves redhanded? Video doorbells are a popular home additions used for deterring or catching porch pirates. Popular brands include Ring, Nest, Amazon Blink and SimpliSafe.
If you’re having trouble with packages disappearing from your front step, consider investing in a video doorbell that connects to your security system. The video camera is turned on when it senses motion and starts recording footage to the cloud.
At the very least, this doorbell will allow you to gather video evidence of the theft in action, which you can provide to your local police department.
4. Buy a Mail LockboxPackage lockboxes can be a bit expensive, but it may be worth the investment.
Lockboxes conceal your deliveries while keeping them locked away until you can retrieve them. Lockboxes usually require a key to open it after it’s been locked by the delivery person while others require you to coordinate with your delivery person to grant them access.
5. Add a Motion Sensor Detector to Your Home Security System
Ring and others offer mailbox sensors that can be added to the door of your mailbox and connected to your security system. When the sensor detects motion at your mailbox, it alerts your security system to start recording video via the video doorbell or outdoor security cameras.
Package Guard is also a device that is designed to deter porch thieves by sounding an alarm if a package is removed from the device’s sensors. You can set up your network of neighbors who will be notified when the alarm goes off, so you have an extra pair of eyes and ears looking out for your packages.
6. Deliver to a Secure Amazon LockerOrdering packages from Amazon? Instead of having your order shipped to your home, opt to have it delivered to a secure Amazon locker located at the nearest eligible grocery store, retail store or gas station.
Depending on the location of your pickup center, your packages will either be in a locker that can only be accessed by you using a code, or available for pickup at a counter through the location’s retail associate.
7. Get a P.O. Box
If package theft is a continuous problem for you, consider getting a Post Office Box for your USPS deliveries. No need to rent a large PO Box for deliveries—packages that don’t fit can be picked up at the counter.
8. Opt to Pick Up Your Package
If you know you won’t be home when a package is delivered, choose to pick up your package at the nearest carrier location.
FedEx, UPS, and the United States Postal Service will gladly hold your packages for in-person pick-up if that’s what you choose when ordering. Contact the package carrier to update your delivery instructions while your package is in transit. If you create an account on the carrier’s website, you can easily make this request this online.
9. Use an AppIn today’s tech-driven world, it’s no surprise there are apps that help with keeping packages safe.
For example, Amazon Key is available to Amazon Prime members who live in eligible locations. If you’re one of those lucky people and you purchased the Amazon Home Key Kit, you can remotely grant the delivery person access to your home so they can place your package right inside your home, garage or vehicle. The app is available in iOS and Android.
What To Do If Your Package Is Stolen
No matter what measures you take, you may still fall victim to package theft. In the event that you suspect your package was stolen, first check the tracking information to confirm the package was delivered. Sometimes a package may be marked as delivered, but is actually delayed by the carrier.
If you are positive the package was most likely stolen, inform the retailer and the carrier immediately.
In some cases the retailer might send you a free replacement, or some other type of reimbursement may be available. You might also consider filing a police report, especially if you have video evidence.
Plan Ahead to Help Avoid Package TheftAs you can see, there are numerous ways to deter or avoid porch pirates from stealing packages from your front step. At the very least, you can catch them on a security camera if they do steal from you. The only truly secure ways to guarantee a package’s safe delivery is by requiring a signature, having packages delivered to a secure locker, or picking the item up from your carrier.
If you insist on having packages delivered to your front door, we recommend setting up a deal alert for security camera deals. You’ll get notified when there is a deal on security cameras.