The rise of online shopping has made everything from grocery to holiday shopping easier and more convenient. However, it has also made it easier for thieves, increasing package theft or ‘porch pirating’ as it is increasingly known. Package theft statistics show how much of a problem this has become. According to one package theft survey, one-third of Americans have experienced package theft and over half of those polled know someone who has been the victim of package theft.1 Despite the prevalence of this issue, there are some simple preventative measures you can implement to help prevent package theft. Use the following five tips to keep your packages safe and delivered to the rightful owners.
1. Install Security Cameras
One of the best ways to prevent someone from stealing your packages is to install security cameras at your front door, hallway, or driveway. Visible security cameras can help deter criminals from attempting to swipe your package as their will be captured by the camera.
Additionally, security cameras with a mobile app allow you to monitor your home on days when you are expecting a delivery. Your security camera will send an alert when it detects someone/something notifying you when the package was delivered.
To best deter package thieves we recommend installing visible security cameras such as a bullet camera. Dome cameras are another option, however, they are more discrete. You’ll also want to look for security cameras that are weather resistant with night vision and motion detection. For the most accurate alerts, opt for security cameras that use infrared heat-sensing technology as opposed to just motion sensors.
2. Require Signature, Sign Up for Tracking Alerts, or Click-and-Collect
Another package theft prevention tip is to require a signature for delivery. Although this can be a short-term annoyance for you as deliveries are often made during the workday, requiring a signature can be a simple way to prevent thieves from stealing your recently delivered package. In general, you can opt for signature delivery when you are placing your order or you can contact the delivery service directly and request a delivery confirmation signature. In addition, sign up for tracking alerts to stay up to date on when to expect your package. Many delivery services include the option to sign up for email or text alerts.
Click-and-collect is another easy way to protect your packages on your schedule. Many large retailers offer a click-and-collect option in which you can shop online and pick up in the store the same day or within 24 hours. Although this means you have to go to the store to pick up your order, stores are catering to this new consumer preference and making it quick and easy to run in and pick up your order.
3. Coordinate With Your Neighbors
Your neighbors can be a great resource to help prevent package theft. If you know your neighbor is home during the day you can ask them to hold your package once delivered until you get home. Before going on vacation, ask your neighbors to collect any mail and packages delivered as mail piled up is a clear sign to potential burglars no one is home making your home a viable target. Getting to know your neighbors can help keep your home and neighborhood safer as everyone will be looking out for each other. Use these additional tips to protect your home before heading out on vacation.
4. Request a Mail Hold When You’re Out of Town
When you are going out of town, it can be easy to forget about packages you have coming that may be delivered while you are out of town. Alternatively, you can place a mail or package hold with the postal service. Many of the large delivery companies offer a free service to hold your package for a certain period at one of their delivery centers, giving you peace of mind that your package if safely held and awaiting your arrival.
5. Have Packages Delivered to Your Workplace
Package thieves prey on the knowledge that many individuals will leave their packages unattended during the workday. One effective method to prevent this is to have packages delivered to your workplace or office if you know the expected delivery date will fall on a workday. When you have something delivered to your office there will most likely be someone else there to receive your package if you’re currently unavailable.
Although it may not be possible to completely eliminate package theft, there are things you can do to minimize the risk. As we head into the Christmas and holiday shopping season and vacation time, taking a few extra steps to protect your deliveries can make all the difference and eliminate headaches of replacing stolen packages.
1The 2017 Package Theft Report: Porch Pirates, Purchase Habits, And Privacy.