Online shopping is undoubtedly one of the most significant conveniences of the digital era. If anything, the coronavirus pandemic caused online shopping to become even more widely used than before. However, that made way for increased delivery package theft, which millions of people fall victim to yearly.
During the holiday season, when deliveries are at an all-time peak, and more people are buying great gifts for their loved ones, the issue of package theft is even more prevalent. Protecting against holiday package theft this season can be as easy as implementing one of the tips below. Let’s look into the top tips you can implement to ensure the safety of your deliveries.
The Issue Of “Porch Pirates”
Porch Pirating is a crime of opportunity that has been on the rise lately, following the increased trends in online shopping and modern delivery methods and services.
Statistics show that in 2022, as many as 260 million packages delivered across the USA were stolen, usually from porches, yards, and literal doorsteps. The thefts, understandably, mean that billions of dollars are lost every year, on top of people’s frustration for not receiving what they ordered, even though the delivery was completed.
How Common is Package Theft?
Despite the massive number of packages stolen yearly, most packages get delivered successfully. From one gross statistical standpoint, up to 36% of Americans have had a package stolen at one point or another.
Being a crime of opportunity, package theft usually does not happen twice to the same person, but if it does, it usually suggests a developing pattern. If a package is stolen more than three times from a specific place, the thefts will likely continue targeting these recipients, potentially causing them to lose more packages. Porch piracy usually spikes during the holidays, as shopping sprees occur daily.
7 Tips To Prevent Package Theft
Preventing the theft of your package, particularly during the holiday season when porch piracy is at an all-time high, is not too difficult if you prepare for it. The following seven tips offer a variety of ways in which you can protect your incoming packages and gifts from opportunistic thieves:
Nowadays, precise tracking is available for everything you order. Be sure to follow your package and be alert to related notifications to know when a package will arrive. That way, the window of opportunity for package theft shrinks significantly.
Consider Different Delivery Options
As it is not always possible to be present for a parcel pick up, you can exercise the option to reschedule the delivery for a time that fits your schedule. Furthermore, you can set up an alternative pick-up point or even have a nearby neighbor get the package. Alternatively, you can use the delivery service’s lockers or storage areas and pick up your package when convenient.
Stating the obvious here: physical barriers are very good at deterring thieves, particularly opportunistic ones. Gates and non-opaque fences are the first things to consider, even though they might not be enough. Improved perimeter security might get in the way of the delivery, so you should carefully think everything through.
Lockboxes, which only you can open but anyone can load, are a great addition to your theft-proof package delivery system. These come in many sizes, so fitting even bigger packages should not be an issue.
Improved Surveillance and Security
Installing HD CCTV systems will deter potential thieves, given that modern systems utilize multiple cameras and ensure that a perpetrator’s actions will be caught on video. The drawback is that cameras do not physically prevent someone from stealing a package. A video doorbell is also an option, allowing a delivery person to access gated premises via a predetermined code. Often, they are a better alternative to CCTV, but can also be paired with it for extra protection.
Smart locks are a direct solution that bridges physical security and successful delivery, as you can remotely allow the delivery person to enter the premises long enough to deliver the package. Furthermore, you get real-time notifications if someone attempts to gain access to your premises.
If you are wary about letting people in, you can remotely unlock the door only for a friendly neighbor to enter and leave the delivery package. Such remote locks are easy to install, so you should consider contacting a 24/7 locksmith service like 247cerrajero to do it as soon as possible.
Having expensive-looking packages on your porch or doorstep for extended periods is not a good idea, as they will almost certainly draw unwanted attention. Knowing your surroundings is crucial when receiving deliveries and unloading gifts from your car. For the latter, try parking as close to your front door as legally possible to keep the packages away from prying eyes.
All incoming packages do not have to arrive directly at your primary address of residence. Instead, you can have the package delivered directly to your place of work, a dedicated storage area, or a friend’s residence so that you eliminate the risk of package theft.
What To Do if Your Package Is Stolen?
Before you assume that a package was stolen from your porch, check the delivery status through the appropriate platform to ensure that the package was delivered. Also, double-check if a package is hidden out of sight, given that delivery agents know the potential risk of porch piracy and may try to protect the package as much as possible.
If you are sure your package was stolen, reach out to the company in charge of the delivery so they know the package was not received. Then, contact a local law enforcement agency through their non-emergency line to report the crime, providing as many details as possible.
Finally, look into ways to theft-proof your property so that you are not one of those statistics demonstrating a repetitive occurrence of cases of porch piracy.
There are plenty of ways to ensure that you receive a delivered package without the risk of it getting stolen. Physical barriers, digital security, alternative delivery sites, and environmental awareness are just some of the methods you can implement to prevent the theft of your delivered packages, especially during the holiday season.