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
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.
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.
Direct to Store Delivery
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 is a safe place to have your items delivered with no worry of theft.
UPS and FedEX Hold for Pickup
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.
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.
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.
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This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.