How To Protect Your Packages From Porch Pirates

Porch piracy is a real thing, with 79% of Americans having had a package stolen from their porch during the past 12 months. That amounts to about 260 million packages, as 1 one in 5 Americans gets packages delivered at least once a week. Even if you have a home security system or a doorbell camera like Ring, it’s not enough to prevent package theft. In fact, 35% of homeowners whose packages were stolen had a security camera or video doorbell camera installed. What’s worse is that police make arrests in less than 10% of home package theft cases reported to them. Even if they do make an arrest, in most cases the thieves are only charged with a misdemeanor. There are only 13 states that have passed laws to make porch piracy a felony. So, what can you do to protect yourself from porch pirates? 

  • • Use delivery alerts. Most retailers or shipping companies let you opt in to tracking alerts, which let you know as soon as your package has arrived.
  • • Have your package delivered to your neighbor's house if you won't be home to receive it immediately, or ship it to your office.
  • • Require a signature for delivery. It's not very convenient, but it  ensures your packages — especially valuable ones — can't be left on the front porch unattended.
  • • Use an Amazon locker. Customers can have items shipped to secure Amazon Lockers in 900 U.S. cities. Once your package has been delivered, you can pick it up from a locker using a special security code. You don't have to be a Prime member to use this service.
  • • Use Amazon Key. This electronic lock system allows Amazon delivery people to drop off packages directly inside your garage, gate or your house. The service is for Prime customers only.
  • • Use a smart home security system like Ring or Nest, which has a doorbell camera and alerts you when someone is at your door. 
  • • Check the services offered by the delivery companies. UPS offers a service that allows you to pick the date and time a package is delivered, so you can select a time when you'll be home (an additional fee applies). Packages can also be held at UPS Stores and other locations. FedEx allows you to have a package held at a local FedEx office, a Walgreens store or other locations. The U.S. Postal Service can also hold your packages or redirect delivery. All these companies will also notify you when a package has been delivered if you've created an account with them.