Tips on Preventing Holiday Package Theft
“Porch pirates” — thieves who steal packages from your front porch to sell them for a little extra cash — stole from almost 80% of Americans in 2022. While the most impacted states included New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Delaware, this kind of crime can happen to anyone, anywhere. And it’s especially common during the holiday season when we’re all frantically ordering last-minute gifts online that pile up at our doorstep.
Don’t let yourself — or the people who rely on you — lose the holiday spirit because someone decided to take your packages. In this guide, we’ll give you some actionable tips you can use to keep your packages safe from would-be thieves.
Package Theft: Everything You Need to Know
The rising popularity of online shopping gives porch pirates more opportunities than ever before. According to one report, the total annual value of deliveries lost to package theft is approximately $19.5 billion — and the holiday season contributes a lot to this number.
If you know the frustration of having a delivery swiped from your front porch, you’ll be relieved to know that package theft is a punishable crime under U.S. law. So far, eight states have declared package theft a felony:
- New Jersey
Although critics have raised concerns about potential bias toward delivery drivers, several other states are in the process of passing similar legislation.
So what does this mean for you? It gives you and whoever else lives on your property the power to take action and recuperate your losses.
Package Theft Prevention Tips for Homeowners
If you own your home, you might usually ask couriers to leave packages on your front doorstep — but it’s best to take a little more caution. Here are some ways you can stop porch pirates from ruining your family’s holiday cheer:
- Use package holding services: Many carriers will hold packages or delay delivery dates for you if you know you won’t be home. Amazon, for example, allows customers to send orders to Amazon Lockers for convenient and secure pickup.
- Leave special instructions: You can usually provide special delivery instructions before you place an order. For example, you might request that the driver leave your package at the back or side door rather than out front.
- Track your deliveries: You should receive a tracking number you can use to follow your order throughout the fulfillment journey so you know when it will reach its destination.
- Require a signature: If you know you will be home on the expected delivery date, you can request your delivery driver to require a signature from you. This way, you can hold your carrier accountable if your driver forgets.
- Hide your stuff: Don’t tempt porch pirates! Try to avoid leaving packages and shopping bags on your front porch or driveway or anywhere people can see them. If you’re coming home from a shopping trip, bring your bags in right away and lock the doors behind you.
- Purchase package insurance: If you’re buying something expensive, like a phone or computer, opting in to package insurance at checkout will protect your investment if it gets stolen or broken during transit. It’s also usually very affordable at only a few extra dollars, so you won’t lose anything by adding it to your cart.
- Install security cameras: Clearly visible cameras can deter would-be thieves by showing them you’re serious about protecting your property. Even just one camera aimed at your driveway can make a big difference.
Package Theft Prevention Tips for Apartment Buildings
Apartment building managers face their own challenges with deliveries. Here are some of our best recommendations for preventing holiday package theft for apartment buildings of any size:
- Hire a lobby attendant: While bringing on a new desk attendant can be a big expense, the peace of mind they provide can be worth the cost. They’ll accept and hold packages for your tenants so porch pirates can’t get them.
- Set up a package room: Many large apartment buildings set aside a room where couriers can drop off packages for residents to pick up later. Access control systems help ensure only residents can enter the room. You could also install an Amazon Locker in your lobby, if available in your area.
- Train your staff: If you’d rather not hire an attendant, you can create a package management process for your existing staff and make it part of your annual security training curriculum.
- Install access control systems: Whether you store packages in a holding room or you just want to improve your building’s overall security, access control devices are excellent for keeping intruders from making off with your residents’ belongings.
- Invest in a CCTV system: A security system is an effective deterrent for criminals any time of day or night, which also helps residents feel safer. Additionally, if someone does steal a package, the footage can help authorities track them down a little easier.
The Simple Solution: Installing a Security System
One of the most straightforward ways to keep your holiday packages safe is to invest in a top-tier security system from a reliable vendor. Whether it includes access control devices, CCTV cameras or new locks, a well-designed security system can help significantly reduce the risk of losing holiday purchases to opportunistic thieves.
Here are some important considerations to make when selecting a security system provider:
- Contract details: Your provider should be transparent with you about the exact terms and conditions of your purchase, such as what happens if a malfunction occurs.
- Additional safety features: What technological capabilities are available to you? Advanced features like remote surveillance and instant notifications can help you get the most out of your investment by improving your ability to respond to threats in real time.
- Property walkthroughs: If a vendor offers a consultation, take advantage of it! They can assess your property to determine where you’re most vulnerable and how their products can best benefit you.
Ideally, you’ll want to work with a provider who can create an end-to-end solution for your specific property — this way, you’re not dealing with multiple vendors who may have incompatible technologies. You’ll also be able to reduce excess costs by working with fewer companies.
Trust Prestige Security Solutions to Protect Your Deliveries This Holiday Season
If you’re looking for a reliable security provider to keep porch pirates off your property, look no further than Prestige. We carry a wide variety of access control systems, CCTV cameras and more, so we can build a solution that makes the most sense for your property and your budget.
Ready to get started? Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll take a look at your property so we can design the strongest system possible.