How to Deter Package Thieves

How to Deter Package Thieves

by Leslie Freeland, November 8, 2018

Porch Pirates No More!

With the holiday season coming soon, many people will be getting more packages than normal delivered to their homes. But with more deliveries come more package thieves (AKA “porch pirates”), people who swipe parcels that don’t belong to them to either use or resell the contents.

These thieves typically hang around neighborhoods, trying to blend in, waiting for packages to be delivered. When they see a package dropped on a doorstep or in an apartment lobby, they swoop in and make off with it before anyone can catch them. Often they frequent neighborhoods where the bulk of residents are not at home throughout much of the day.

Having someone steal your holiday gifts or home supplies can obviously put a damper on your celebration. Here are some tips to help minimize package thievery so you don’t wind up another statistic over the holidays.

Protect Your Package Tips

At Home

Being home for every delivery isn’t usually an option. However, if you are going to be home on delivery day (check your package tracking system online), you still need to pay attention. Porch pirates can even strike when you are in your own home.

Required Signature

When you order an item, you can require a signature before the parcel can be delivered. You may pay a little more for premium delivery, but it’s often worth it. If you know your relatives will be sending you packages, ask them to do the same.

Alternate Address

Consider having your parcels sent to a different address, like a relative’s house, neighbor’s house, or even your work.

Direct to Store Delivery

Many retail stores, such as Old Navy, allow you to ship directly to their store. Then all you have to do is stop by the store to get your items.

Vacation Hold

If you are going to be away for several days, request a vacation hold. Both USPS,  FedEX and UPS all offer this service.

Locking Receptacle at Your Home

If you get many deliveries year round, it might be wise to install a locking receptacle near your front door – a bin (AKA parcel dropbox) that the delivery person can lock shut once the parcel is inside.

Amazon Key for Home or Car

Take advantage of the latest technology with Amazon Key. You purchase a home lock kit that works with a downloadable app, so you control who can enter your front door to deposit parcels safely inside. They also have delivery access options for your car as well: Amazon Key In-Car Delivery.

Amazon Locker

Amazon Locker is a safe place to have your items delivered with no worry of theft.

UPS and FedEX Hold for Pickup

UPS offers a Hold at Pickup service, and FedEX also offers a Hold at Location service.

UPS My Choice and FedEx Delivery Manager

Schedule your deliveries for an exact time. Did you know you may be able to schedule deliveries with UPS My Choice? Sign up and get parcels sent to your home when you know you’ll be there. FedEx offers Delivery Manager to provide similar services.


Several companies allow you to contact them while your package is being actively delivered and reroute it, so if your plans change, you pickup location can change too. Some options are USPS Package Intercept and UPS Package Intercept.

Set Up a Neighborhood Watch

To go old school against local crime, try setting up a neighborhood watch.

Property Manager’s Office

Often, an apartment complex’s property manager will allow packages to be delivered and held in their office rather than delivered to your apartment door.

Security Measures

Don’t make it easy for thieves to hide in your yard. Put up security cameras, and be sure to let potential porch pirates know they’re being watched. Try a device like Package Guard that lets off an alarm if someone tries to take a parcel off your front stoop.

PO Box

Still having trouble or none of the above tips working for you? Consider a USPS PO Box where the packages never make it to your house in the first place. There are many other companies who offer similar services, so call around and see what works best for you.

If you are a victim…

If you are a victim of attempted or successful package theft, be sure to report the incident to your local law enforcement. Give them any video or photo evidence you acquire of someone breaking the law on your property.




Asurea offers Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection Life Insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long-term Care Insurance, Retirement Planning products and more. For additional information, click on the ‘Learn more’ button below. Want to have articles just like this delivered to your inbox? Just enter your email address in the box below and click ‘Subscribe.’

This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.


Leslie Freeland

Leslie Freeland

Marketing Communications Coordinator at Asurea
Leslie joined Asurea as the Marketing Communications Coordinator in February 2015. Since then, she has been working closely with insurance professionals to educate the public on the importance of life insurance and protect the public from common scams with informational articles.
Leslie Freeland

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