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Monday, 02 December 2019 15:24

6 Ways To Prevent Holiday Package Theft By Porch Pirates

It’s officially Cyber Week. That means the number of packages shipped during the holiday season will increase exponentially during the holiday shopping season. That also means that package theft is on the rise as "porch pirates" attempt to steal your gifts and purchases. 

Package theft can happen anytime but tends to happen more often during the holidays. With more consumers shopping online every year, this number of thefts will undoubtedly climb. Package deliveries increase exponentially the two-and-a-half weeks before Christmas, according to Package Concierge, a company that provides package receipt systems for apartment buildings.

Part of the problem is that it’s so hard to guarantee a package is safe once it’s delivered. While you may add insurance to a piece of mail or package through the delivery service, once the package reaches your doorstep the coverage ends, as the insurance is aimed at covering any physical damage that may take place in transit. Even when dropped off at an apartment building, packages may go missing before recipients can claim parcels. To combat the issue, delivery services, retailers are working to create alternatives to traditional home delivery that will prevent thieves from getting away with your items.

There are a number of ways to prevent theft. The video below explains "porch pirates" and how can you protect yourself from becoming a victim:



The United States Postal Service Informed Delivery is a free daily digital preview of what’s coming to your mailbox. Not only can you manage your packages and get a peek at cards headed your way, but you can also see exterior images letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS' automated equipment, all from your mobile app, dashboard, tablet or computer.


The UPS My Choice program allows customers to receive updates on their package and view estimated delivery times and even change the delivery address prior to scheduled drop-off to keep it from sitting outside. If delivering to your office or a friend’s house aren’t better options to protect your package, UPS Access Point is another free feature that allows customers to opt for delivery at a local public location, rather than at home. Instead of having your package sit outside, you can stop at the drop box at the local drugstore or bank on your way home. Currently, customers earn rewards for packages delivered to Access Point locations. (You'll need to set up Access Point preferences in your UPS My Choice® account.) In addition to the free UPS My Choice for home, the company offers a Premium Member option for those who receive frequent shipments while away from home and want even greater control. The price for the premium membership is not listed at the UPS website but, according to other sources, the membership is $40 per year.


Package Concierge has developed a system for package deliveries to apartment and condo communities. Rather than having packages delivered to the front desk, they are deposited into Package Concierge lockers, which are often installed near resident mailboxes. Notifications are sent via app or email when a package is delivered; packages are dated with a time-stamped photo of every delivery and retrieval; unlock codes are sent via the Package Concierge app or by email. The company is working with college and university campus mail services to provide lockers for students as well.


The best thing you can do to protect your packages is to be proactive. Keeping your packages as safe and secure as possible is simply a matter of figuring out a system that works best for you. Here are more options to better protect your packages.

  1. Provide some porch coverage. Thieves are most likely to strike when they see a package sitting out in the open. If they can’t see a package from the street, they’re far less likely to walk up to see what they can grab. Large planters, a thick column, or solid furniture that provides plenty of space to obscure a package from the edge of your property can help cut down on package theft. A note or request to the courier to leave the package at the back door could also keep it from being seen.

  2. Install a security camera. Keep an eye on your holiday packages and on your home with the latest security technology. Security cameras and video doorbells can capture images of people who come onto your doorstep. Once a thief is captured on camera you can call your local police department for further instructions. There’s no guarantee you’ll get a stolen package back, but there’s a chance the thief will be caught. Products such as Ring, Blink, and others can be self-installed without monitoring fees. Smartphone apps allow you to check-in remotely. Posting a sign that your premises are protected by security cams is another way of cutting down package thefts.

  3. Ship packages delivered to another address. If it's allowed, have your packages sent to where you work, or to the address of a family member or friend. If loved ones will send you gifts, ask them to choose this option.

  4. Arrange to have packages held at a facility. If you repeatedly miss delivery on a package that requires a signature, it will be held at the facility for you to pick up. Request a hold for high priced items for further protection. Package Concierge, UPS Access Point, and Amazon Locker Delivery all allow packages to be delivered to a secure location near you.

  5. Pick up at store. When ordering items, choose to pick up or ship to store when available. Most retailers today offer this as a shipping option.

  6. Setup a home lockbox. This could be an expensive option that may require a bit of additional work but a lockbox will keep your packages safer if you live in an area susceptible to package theft. Options range from about $45 to more than $800 depending on size and vendor.

One Massachusetts woman had enough of package theft -- she had a glittery surprise for one thief:



Don't let the "porch pirates" take off with your packages and ruin your holidays. Choose a security option that works best for you.


Read 3756 times Last modified on Wednesday, 18 December 2019 21:43

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