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The convenience of online shopping has changed the purchasing habits of people around the world. It’s also made the business of door-to-door delivery more profitable than ever. And you know who else loves this new trend? Porch pirates. Yes, these porch thieves are among the worst enemies of a neighborhood, stealing packages and even decorations during holidays.

Package theft statistics show that around 25.9 million Americans have had a holiday package stolen from their front door or porches, according to a recent survey. Some 22.6 million have also had their outdoor decorations stolen and vandalized.

deliver packagePhoto courtesy of Sascha Kohlmann via Flickr

These porch thieves know that home owners aren’t always around to personally receive their packages, and they also know that holidays are when deliveries are non-stop. These thieves are usually familiar with the neighborhood and they know who the easy targets are. Some robbers also follow delivery trucks in scouting for their next victim.

Package theft prevention has become an important element of security. One day they go for the box; the next day they go for the entire house. If you like having things delivered to your doorstep, you must seriously consider package theft solutions that would deter these pirates from hijacking your front door and your belongings.

Mind the schedule

If you know that you are going on a vacation or going away for the holiday, place your package delivery on hold. A lot of delivery companies in the US allow this and they would be glad to hold on to your parcel for a certain period at no additional cost.

If you are unsure of your own schedule, and if you are not sure whether someone will be home to collect it, the best you can do is to track the shipment on a tracking app or the online store’s app or website. Some delivery companies have re-route or re-schedule options for a minimal fee. Making a call to the delivery man is also helpful. If there’s no way to re-schedule, just ask a friend or relative to drop by your house to secure the parcel on your behalf

Deliver to another location

One of the ways to prevent package theft is to have packages delivered to your workplace instead. After all, delivery hours are also usually office hours when you are most likely to be out. Avoid careless drop-off deliveries and sneaky neighbors by having the package delivered to your workplace, where you will most likely be. If not, at least your office receptionists can keep them safe.

If not the workplace, have it delivered to a friend’s house. Some delivery companies also offer storage lockers where you can have your packages shipped.

Invest in front door security

cctv front door

Photo Courtesy via cctvsmartsystems of Pixabay

Perhaps the best package theft deterrent is installing a security system. Thieves are usually intimidated by alarms and surveillance cameras. At the same time, it will make it easier for anyone to retrieve the package. Opting for wireless alarm security system is very ideal as this type of device is easy to install, which is great for those who want to upgrade their home security faster and don’t want to deal with complicated security wiring.

Install security cameras at your front door, porch or driveway. Cameras packed with motion sensors and sirens can deter thieves. You may also invest in surveillance cameras that allow you to remotely view your porch or front door so you may know if the package has already been delivered.

A great combo for your front door security system is a package guard, which is a device that alerts a customer when a package has been delivered. It is a Frisbee-sized device that you can attach to your porch so that delivery men will know where to place your package. If an unauthorized user removes it, it will sound an alarm.

There are also lockboxes that you can buy that can keep your packages secure while you are away. It works like a mailbox, but for packages.

Require a signature

There have been many instances when a package has been pre-signed or delivery men signing packages and leaving them open on your doorstep. Prevent this from happening by requiring a signature on delivery. This may be a bit of a hassle but a delivery confirmation signature is a practical package theft solution that you must consider.

If the package is left unattended or if it gets damaged or lost or stolen because the delivery guys failed to follow the protocol, delivery companies will be held liable. Customer may be entitled to refund or replacement. It is like an insurance for your parcel that should be really worth the hassle.

Find a buddy in the neighborhood

Is there a neighbor you trust? Or a neighbor who is always home? Enlist their help if you are expecting a package delivery and you are not home. Maybe they can pick it up and store it for you until you are able to pick up the package from their place.

You may also ask them if it would be okay to have the package shipped to their address instead. The hassle is you would have to depend on their schedule once you are ready to pick it up. Also, dealing with delivery guys isn’t always a delightful experience so you may want to give your neighbors a box of cookies when you go pick up the delivery.

Package theft is a serious crime that no homeowner should take for granted. Apart from the item that’s inside the box, thieves also get access to your front door. They would know how vulnerable your home security is and before you know it, a case of package theft has turned into a full-blown burglary. Never compromise the security of your home and the safety of your family by failing to do these simple anti-theft solutions.

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