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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
- 5 Ways To Protect Your Packages
- Best Safe Delivery Products
- Creative Solutions In Action (Video)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Protect Your Packages And Your Home
Porch pirates are always on the lookout for an easy target. Protect your packages by using these tips for delivery security.
1. Reroute Delivery
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this 3-minute video from Good Morning America, you can see the way some people get creative to combat porch pirates.
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?
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?
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