The internet has certainly made our lives more convenient than it has been ever before.
You no longer need to visit a local shop in order to buy groceries, electronics, appliances, or any other item.
Simply log on to Amazon or any other online retailer, add a couple of products to your cart, checkout, and wait for the product to be delivered directly to your doorstep.
Even though convenient, this raises concern among the general population.
With theft being so common and affecting millions every year, now we do not only have to worry about people breaking into our homes and stealing our precious belongings, but we also have to be concerned about those porch pirates grabbing a package from the porch after delivery.
In a study that was conducted toward the end of the year 2017, it was found that as many as 26 million residents of the United States became a victim to porch pirates and package theft within the holiday period of the year.
Here’s another alarming statistic – approximately one in every three people who live in the country has been a victim to package theft in the past.
Additionally, over 50% of everyone in the United States know about at least one person who had a package stolen due to porch pirates in the past.
Porch pirates cause people to suffer great losses – your item is stolen even before you get to open it and use it yourself even once.
Quite unpleasant, that is for sure.
There is some good news that we would like to share with you today – packages can be protected against porch pirates, at least to some degree.
There are many strategies that can be used to help reduce your risk of being a victim to porch pirates and package theft, and to help you sometimes even be able to catch those porch pirates trying to steal from you in the act.
Here, we will take a look at some of the most effective strategies that you can use to help you keep porch pirates away from your packages and to help reduce your risk of being a victim to this very unpleasant crime.
We'll consider some options that can help to avoid having your packages ever to be placed on the porch as well, which will ultimately help to completely eliminate the risk of ever being a victim to this type of theft.
The Concern With Porch Pirates
Before we look at what you can do about the possibility of package theft, let us first take a look at what exactly porch pirates are and what the issue at hand is with them.
A porch pirate is essentially anyone who grabs a package that has been left for you on your porch.
This means anyone who decides to place an order for an item on the internet and decides to have the item delivered to their doorstep might be at risk if they will not be home when the package arrives.
A lot of the courier companies out there will simply drop off the package in front of the customer’s door, leaving it open on the porch for anyone to see.
A lot of criminals do not go through the troubles of breaking into houses – becoming a porch pirate is more convenient to them.
They would take a look at the time of the year – whenever the holidays are coming up and the number of packages delivered to local residents increases, then they start to look out for delivery vans that will be dropping off these packages.
One of the most important times of the years that people should be extra careful and watch out for these porch pirates would be in December when it comes time for Christmas.
During this time, a lot of people are ordering Christmas presents on the internet.
Stores in the local areas are usually packed with customers during Christmas time – and this means a person would often have to spend a significant period of time standing in lines.
This is impossible for some people, which means they might miss out on great specials available at these stores.
When these people turn to the internet, they are able to place an order for items that are on a holiday promotion and get the product delivered to their doorstep.
It is not only around Christmas time that we need to be so vigilant.
Take, for example, Black Friday.
On this day, a lot of promotions are offered, but many people do not have the time to go and stand in long lines.
This is where the internet comes in handy again.
When these times arrive, then these porch pirates will often sit outside and take notice of any delivery vans coming up to a local neighborhood.
They would look at when a package is being dropped and where – and then they would make their move the first opportunity they get.
How To Prevent Porch Pirates From Stealing Your Packages At The Doorstep
With porch pirates becoming more problematic in recent times, especially due to the fact that more people are now relying on the internet to get packages delivered to their doorstep, it is crucial that you implement appropriate measures to help reduce the risk of porch pirates picking up your package once the delivery company has dropped it off at your house.
A couple of strategies can be used, and it really comes down to whether you would like to spend some money and how much time you have on your hands.
If you can spend some money, then you can up your security.
If not, don’t worry, there are some excellent methods that can still help you reduce the risk of package theft without having to dig into your wallet.
Below, you will find a couple of very useful tips that we have gathered and compiled for you to help you out, especially if the rate of package theft is high in your region.
Track the package and try to be home at the delivery time
The very first tip that we have for you is really effective.
The majority of delivery companies in the United States like FedEx has convenient tracking systems in place.
Once the supplier you bought your items from sends them off with a courier, they will also send you a tracking number for the specific package that you have ordered.
When you visit the official website of the company carrying the package, there is usually a tracking facility that you can access.
A number of websites also feature a search function that can search the database of multiple courier companies and give you the result that best matches the data you provide to the search tool.
When you have ordered a package, you should already be provided with an approximate delivery date by the company who sends your package.
This gives you a good idea of when to expect the delivery of the package, but the data is not always accurate and sometimes include a window of a few days.
As the days draw closer, be sure to track the parcel on the appropriate tracking website.
This will help you see when the package was last scanned and give you an estimate on when the package is expected to be delivered to your doorstep.
On the day of delivery, you can get in touch with the company handling the package and see if they can provide you a more closed range delivery window – such as a few hours.
You can then assure that you are home during those hours.
If you are expecting a large and expensive package, see if you can get a few hours off work.
It’s better to be home and guarantee the safe delivery of your package than to stay at work and risk the package being stolen by porch pirates.
Ask that someone needs to sign for the delivery of the package
When you place an order for a package, a lot of courier companies will arrive at your doorstep, ring your doorbell, and then simply leave the package on your front porch if no one answers.
If you are not home in time for the package, then the package will be placed in front of your door and be at risk of theft.
To avoid this, you could contact the company dealing with the delivery of the package and ask them to ensure someone signs for the package before the courier leaves.
This way, you won’t get a package being placed on your porch when you are not home since a signature is required for the package to be released.
This can be a little inconvenient.
Should you miss the courier guy, then you might have to visit their offices in order to pick up the package later in the day.
This could mean you have to drive for several miles to get there – on the bright side, you will be sure that you will get the package and it will not land in the hands of the wrong person.
Install a doorbell security camera and system
A doorbell security system can also be a very useful option if you wish to secure your porch.
These systems usually tend to include a camera – often times hidden to the naked eye and rather implanted into the doorbell.
Think of this as an incognito approach to spying on whoever is at the door.
Now, when this camera is able to record the events that occur on the outside, you can easily get footage back of who stole your package when you later replay the recorded media that was stored on an HD card or a wirelessly connected hard drive.
With this in hand, you will at least be able to provide police with evidence of the criminal, making their search much faster and easier, and improving the chances that your package could be recovered.
Install outdoor security cameras
Similar to having a security camera installed in your doorbell, it could also be useful to set up a few cameras around the house – outdoors, of course.
Make sure you have a camera facing your porch – this way, you will be able to see the courier place the package down and, if any events like package theft occur, you might be able to get a good look at the face of the criminal stealing your package.
In addition to providing you with evidence, a lot of porch thieves will also be wary of security cameras that are located outdoors.
They will often first take a look for such security cameras, and in many cases, the criminal will skip on to the next house if they see that you do have cameras installed on the outside of your house.
Take advantage of home automation security systems
Home automation systems are making our lives easier in terms of security and in general – you are now able to get the coffee machine to start preparing your cup of breakfast blend even while you are still laying in bed.
Home automation systems can integrate with a large number of appliances at home – think your washing machine, dishwasher, television, and even some types of light bulbs.
In recent times, companies have also started to develop security systems that can integrate with home automation systems.
This can be a great added benefit for you to improve the security of your house, including your front porch.
For example, if your security system has a sensor and camera at the doorbell, the system will automatically activate when motion is detected on your porch.
You can choose to be alerted of any activity in this region while you are not home.
Once detected, you’ll receive a push notification, alerting you of activity, and you’ll then be able to get instant access to the camera.
This way, you’ll be able to detect if a porch pirate is, indeed, at your home busy stealing your package.
A couple of these security systems will also have an integrated alarm system – if you see that someone is stealing your package, you can alert an appropriate company who is providing you with security services, and trip the alarm, which can often scare off the criminal.
Completely Eliminate The Risk Of Being A Victim To Package Theft
In addition to steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of having your package stolen from your porch, there are ways to eliminate this risk entirely.
One way would be to ensure someone needs to sign for your package, as we explained earlier.
This is a good way to ensure a signature is needed – but there might still be cases where someone unauthorized signs on your behalf.
We find that if the above options do not work effectively for you, then another option that you might want to consider is to speak to your neighbor.
Tell the neighbor that you are expecting a package and that you fear to be a victim to package theft due to a large number of porch pirates reported in your area.
Ask the neighbor if they would be able to collect the package for you.
You have two ways to go about doing this.
You could either ask the neighbor to see when the package has been dropped on your porch and then collect it and keep it with them.
This way, you’ll be able to pick the package up from the neighbor when you get home after work.
Another way to boost security is to speak to a consultant at the courier company and ask them that someone needs to sign for the package before it is handed over.
Specifically, advise the company that your neighbor will be signing for the package.
Provide the consultant with the name of your neighbor and point out that no one else, except for you and your neighbor, has the authority to sign for the package and to collect it.
There You Have It
Theft happens every day all around us, but many of us only do something to protect ourselves against stolen goods once we have become the victim.
Porch theft is common, and millions of packages are stolen from the porches of American homes each and every year.
With just a couple of strategies in play, you are able to drastically reduce your risk of becoming a victim to package theft.
You are also able to catch these porch pirates in the act with some strategies and, as you have seen, some options allow you to eliminate the risk of ever becoming a victim at all.
Be sure to take a good look at the tips that we have shared to help you understand what steps you need to take when you decide to place an order for something on the internet.
Many of these strategies won’t cost you a dime and could end up saving you thousands – depending on what you ordered, of course.