Show of hands — how many reading this blog have had a package stolen after being delivered? You aren’t alone. In fact, 23 million Americans experience package theft each year at an average value of $106 in stolen goods.* Porch pirate traps aside, we’re sharing seven ways to thwart porch pirates and keep your packages safe and sound.
7 Tips for Preventing Package Theft & Porch Pirates
What is a porch pirate, you ask? Porch pirates (as they’re commonly known) scope out and steal vulnerable packages left by doors or on front porches – taking them away from their rightful owners. Most package thefts occur during the day when people aren’t home. If you’re wondering what to do if a package is stolen from your front door, fortunately, there are some simple steps that you and your family can take to help prevent porch pirates.
How to Stop Porch Pirates
- Install security cameras
- Invest in a video doorbell camera
- Use a PO box or Amazon Locker
- Ship your package to your office
- Request a signature
- Use your garage to your advantage
- Ask for a neighbor’s help
1) Install Security Cameras
Not only can security cameras provide a more comprehensive home security system, they can also deter porch pirates from stealing your packages. Better yet, 83% of burglars reportedly check for an alarm system before attempting a break-in. ** So, even if a porch pirate is foolhardy enough to disregard the camera (or doesn’t see it), you have footage of your culprit that can be used to catch the thief should you file a police report. With the video proof that your package was stolen and not misplaced, you can also begin communicating with the vendor about possible reimbursement (more on that below).
When shopping for your ideal security camera, there’s a lot to consider. Be sure to look for a camera with the latest features, like the CPI Outdoor Security Camera. Not only does this camera allow you to keep an eye on your packages and property, but you can also speak to anyone in the camera’s field of vision. It also includes our new Perimeter Alert feature that lets thieves know they’re being watched with an audio and visual alert once they’ve been detected, sending them running from your property.
2) Invest In a Video Doorbell Camera
Another option for monitoring your packages and deterring local pirates is to invest in a Video Doorbell Camera. Not only are these video doorbells an obvious recording device (hopefully making would-be thieves think twice before making a move), but most have a two-way talk functionality. This means that not only can you keep an eye on your packages and see who’s on your doorstep – you can even speak to them through the device.
3) Use a PO Box or Amazon Locker
If your front porch or landscaping is unable to hide packages on your porch, you may want to consider renting a PO Box (or equivalent). These are available at your local post office and will allow delivery services to drop off packages there, which keeps your vulnerable packages off your porch and away from potential thieves. The only downside is that you need to make a trip to the post office to pick up the package, but this is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of your packages. Amazon offers its customers a similar option for package delivery — Amazon Lockers. As with a PO Box, the package is sent to an off-site location where you can then pick up your package using a unique access code. Amazon Lockers are usually located at grocery stores like Whole Foods, convenience stores, and other high-traffic areas. Check Amazon for the closest locker to your location.
4) Ship Your Package to Work
Another convenient solution to combat porch pirates is to have the packages delivered to your place of work. Most workplaces allow their employees to receive packages at the office, check with your employer to see if they’ve approved this perk. This is most helpful when you know that you’ll be away from your home for most of the day and don’t want a package to be left unattended for hours on end.
5) Request a Signature
If you’re tired of your packages being casually left on their own, select the “request for signature upon delivery” option if possible. This means that your delivery person must require a signature before delivering the package. The upside is that you are physically able to receive your package the moment it’s delivered. The downside? You have to physically be home when the package is delivered.
6) Use Your Garage to Your Advantage
Sometimes preventing porch piracy can be as simple as providing your delivery person with an alternate location to leave your package. Porch thefts tend to be crimes of convenience. The thief wants to quickly run up, snatch the box, and run off before they are seen. By introducing even small barriers, you can deter the average porch pirate from making you a victim. Of all alternate package drop-off locations, your garage is one of the most secure. If you have a CPI Garage Door Controller, use your app to remotely open and close your garage door at any time. Simply access the device through your inTouch™ app to allow a delivery person, or friend, to leave the package in your garage.
Speaking of friends…
7) Ask for A Neighbor’s Help
Consider asking a neighbor to be your package buddy. Offer to keep an eye out for packages left on their porch and ask them to do the same. You obviously want to pick a neighbor you can trust, but you also want to choose a neighbor with a direct line of sight to your package drop-off location. You can make this arrangement even easier for you and your neighbor by using a CPI Smart Lock, which allows you to create a unique code for your neighbor so they can unlock your door, place the package inside, and lock your door when they leave.
What to Do About Stolen Packages?
If you were unable to stop your package theft, it can be hard to know what to do about stolen packages because each seller has their own process. But in the event that you can’t prevent one of your packages from being stolen, and you don’t happen to have a camera that captures the culprit, there are still a few options available. It’s best to contact the seller as soon as possible to let them know what happened and file a claim for a replacement or refund. Many companies are willing to refund your credit card or send a replacement item, especially Amazon.
Porch Pirates, Beware!
If you find yourself a repeat victim of porch piracy, we recommend investing in at least one of the above recommendations. A little prevention can go a long way towards keeping your packages safe. For more information on all things safety, security, and innovation, visit the CPI blog to learn more.
*Parcel Pending, “Top 5 Scary Facts About Package Theft and How to Prevent It.”
**Forbes Advisor,“6 Surprising Home Burglary Facts And Stats.”