How To Stop Porch Pirates: 5 Ways To Protect Your Packages

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A growing number of criminals are taking advantage of packages sitting in front of our homes after delivery. These “porch pirates” target unsuspecting victims and steal our packages without even knowing what’s inside.

Even though it’s a federal crime, criminals find porch pirating a quick, simple and very tempting type of theft because they’re hoping to retrieve high-price items they can resell. And this type of crime is on the rise. In New York City, where more packages are delivered daily than anywhere else in the country, 90,000 packages a day go missing — a 20% increase over the last 4 years. In other urban areas, an average of 15% of packages have that same fate daily.1

Article Overview

5 Ways To Protect Your Packages

Porch pirates are always on the lookout for an easy target. Protect your packages by using these tips for delivery security.

1. Reroute Delivery

Amazon Key on iPhone screenWhen you know you won’t be home for a delivery, have your parcel delivered to your work or to a friend or relative who’s available to receive your package.

2. Request Delivery Confirmation

Some carriers will allow you to request a signature for delivery, so you’re sure your package gets delivered securely. You can also subscribe to delivery alerts, so you’ll know when the carrier delivers your package. Amazon even offers a service called Amazon Key that will place your package inside your home.

3. Outdoor Surveillance Equipment

Ring doorbell posted on a front door (Caption: Best Doorbell Cameras)Having an outdoor security camera will allow you to see and record what’s happening on your porch. Just having these cameras visible on your front porch may deter porch pirates from even approaching. Read our reviews of the best outdoor security cameras and doorbell cameras to see what might work best for you.

4. Keep Your Porch Visible

Porch pirates are less likely to approach your porch when it’s visible. Keep shrubbery clear and avoid decor that blocks visibility.

5. Use A Safe Delivery Product

There are several different products you can use to secure your deliveries until you can retrieve them. We review our top picks below.

Best Safe Delivery Products

There are several products on the market to help you protect your packages. We review different style options to help you decide what will work best for you.

Delivery Bag | Delivery Box | Delivery Lock

Best Bag: Package Guardian

Package GuardianView on Amazon

Our top pick for delivery bags is the Package Guardian. This simple delivery bag protects your packages with steel reinforcement. There is a steel hook, frame, lock and 44 feet of steel cable sewn into the bag and straps. It hangs over your door with the hook. The carrier only has to put packages in and close the lock.

The bag has 3.2 cubic feet of space and can hold up to 14 shoe boxes and 200 pounds. It also has a large top opening for easy entry and is made with water-resistant nylon, so your packages stay clean and dry. The one downside is that if you receive multiple deliveries daily, the carrier will not be able to unlock the bag.

Pros

Cons

  • Weather-resistant
  • Carrier only has to lock after placement
  • Easy to use
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Doesn’t work for multiple daily deliveries

Price: Check Amazon for availability

Best Box: DoorBox Ultra-Premium Package Delivery Box

DoorBoxView on Amazon

The DoorBox Ultra-Premium Package Delivery Box is an easy-to-use weatherproof box that you can move in and out of your home on wheels, and you secure it to your home with an 8-foot steel cable. The cable connects to the box with a tamper-proof nut. It’s monitored by wires inside that sound an audible alarm when tampering occurs.

The box comes with a combination lock that doesn’t require a code to lock, only to open. However, you can list your code in your carrier account in case of multiple daily deliveries. The box is large and deep, 24″ height x 18″ width x 15″ deep, with space for lots of packages. Because of its size though, it may not be suitable for all porches and stoops.

Pros

Cons

  • Weather-resistant
  • Works with Amazon, UPS, USPS and FedEx accounts
  • Multiple daily delivery options
  • Easy to use
  • Secure to home with steel cable
  • Audible alarm
  • 1-year warranty
  • May be too large for smaller porches and stoops

Price: $179.00

Best Lock: BoxLock Package Delivery Lock

BoxLockView on Amazon

If you already have a box and are just looking for a lock, you will want to check out the BoxLock Package Delivery Lock. This lock connects to your WiFi and scans the package tracking number to determine if the lock should open.

The free app allows you to see all your package tracking on one screen, even packages from different carriers. The app also allows you to open your BoxLock via Bluetooth, share barcodes and view a full usage log. You can share barcodes via email and text. Furthermore, you can designate barcodes for onetime use, indefinitely or anything in between. You can also use the app to connect with carriers to update tracking numbers automatically.

The BoxLock only connects to 2.4 GHz WiFi, and you’ll also have to purchase a separate lockable box or bag.

Pros

Cons

  • Weather-resistant
  • Works with Amazon, UPS, USPS, and FedEx carriers
  • Easy to use
  • Free app available in iOS and Android
  • Shareable barcode
  • 1-year warranty
  • Lock only (must purchase a lockable bag or box separately)
  • Only connects to 2.4 GHz WiFi

Price: $123.79

Creative Solutions In Action

In this 3-minute video from Good Morning America, you can see the way some people get creative to combat porch pirates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the top questions we get from our readers regarding porch pirates. Don’t see yours? Ask below!

How Can I Report A Porch Pirate?

Your most direct route of reporting porch pirates is to contact the local authorities/police. You’ll want to provide them with as many details as possible, so consider preparing a description of the suspect, what was stolen, day and time, etc. assuming you have that information.

Can I Shoot A Porch Pirate?

Property self-defense laws vary by state, but in most cases they allow reasonable, but not deadly, use of force2. And really, if we take a step back and consider the humanity of your choices – is taking someone’s life over stolen property something you could live with?

Protect Your Packages And Your Home

If you think a thief would feel confident enough to walk up to your property and take something off of your porch, what would stop them from going one step further? Keeping porch pirates away and protecting your home can work hand in hand. When you get a home security system, you can protect your packages, your home and your family.

Have porch pirates ever stolen your packages before?

Sources: [1] The New York Times [2] Lindley Law

About The Author:

Julie has been writing professionally since 2012. She is an active volunteer for a local arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country. Everytown does comprehensive research on gun violence and makes recommendations on how we can all make our communities safer. Her involvement with this organization has given her invaluable information about how to keep our kids safe.

She enjoys writing not only about gun safety, but from family-related content to informative articles about technology, events and healthcare. In her free time, you might find her hiking, trail running, biking or swimming. You might also find her in the kitchen where she loves to cook and bake.

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