We’re well into the holiday season, and many of us are hoping our online orders arrive in time for Christmas next week. In fact, the U.S. Postal Service predicts December 17-23 will be its busiest week for mailing, shipping, and delivery. But with the uptick in deliveries comes an increased risk of theft by “porch pirates” — people who steal packages right off of doorsteps.
Check out our tips on how to prevent package theft, and learn what one city and company are doing to catch these Grinches.
Amazon and Jersey City Are Fighting Back
Whether they’re about dancing thieves or children directed to steal, package-theft stories hit the news in a big way this time of year. It’s estimated that 8% of Americans have had a holiday package stolen from their residence, according to a survey commissioned by insuranceQuotes.com.
Recently, Amazon teamed up with police in Jersey City, NJ, to try and catch these “stoop surfers” in the act. While Amazonhasn’t provided figures for the number of packages reported stolen or missing, according to The Associated Press, the online retailer did give the Jersey City program free equipment.
Police in the city have been installing doorbell cameras and utilizing dummy packages in a sting operation to capture holiday thieves. It’s been a success so far: one box was apparently on the street for just three minutes before being stolen (and they did catch the suspect).
Tips for Preventing Package Theft
Even if you receive a refund for a stolen package, that can be a lot of hassle to go through — and you’re still missing your item. These tips can help you prevent boxes from disappearing from your doorstep.
- Get the package delivered to an alternative location. Try to have it sent to your workplace, or even a trusted friend’s residence.
- Ask for a signature requirement. If the item is expensive, a signature might already be needed, but it can’t hurt to double check for added peace of mind.
- Invest in an extra layer of protection. Install a doorbell camera to watch your items when you aren’t there. You can also use a special lockbox for your package drop-offs.
Readers, have boxes ever been stolen from your home? Take our poll below, then let us know your best tips for preventing package theft.