Online sales and deliveries have increased dramatically over the past several years. This has given rise to a new criminal: the “porch pirate.” With the increasing popularity of online shopping, and more Americans planning on getting items delivered for the holiday season, here are some quick package theft statistics and some ways to combat it:
- The Top 10 areas more likely to get packages stolen during the holidays: 1) Austin, TX 2) Salt Lake City, UT 3) Miami-Ft Lauderdale, FL 4) Atlanta, GA 5) Reliegh-Durham, NC 6) Seattle-Tacoma, WA 7) Houston, TX 8) Dallas-Dt Worth, TX 9) Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL 10) Boston, MA (SafeWise 2018 Report).
- The Top 10 areas least likely to get packages stolen during the holidays: 1) New York, NY 2) Louis, MO 3) Portland, OR 4) Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 5) Sacramento-Stockton, CA 6) Washington, DC 7) Denver, CO 8) San Francisco-Oakland, CA 9) Detroit, MI 10) San Diego, CA (SafeWise 2018 Report).
- 60% of people reporting knowing someone who has had packages stolen (Comcast 2018).
- 25% of people reported having packages stolen themselves (Comcast 2018).
- In 2017, about 25.9 million Americans reported having a holiday package stolen from their porch/doorstep (InsuranceQuotes 2017).
- In a study by Shorr Packaging Corp, 41% of respondents said they avoided buying certain things, out of fear they would get stolen (Smiota 2017).
Ways to Combat Package Theft
The best way to fight package theft, is currently through prevention. Unfortunately, given the number of small variables of these thefts, only a small percent of cases are solved and result in items being returned.
Here are some tips to avoid package theft altogether:
- Use safer, alternative, delivery locations: Your office, a locker, a neighbor’s house (if they work from home or are retired).
- Require a signature for sensitive/higher value packages.
- Utilize a surveillance system, like Ring or CCTVs.
- Hold/pick up your packages at a carrier’s facility, such as a UPS or FedEx store.
- Track your packages online and refrain from leaving them exposed for long periods of time.
- Buy a lockbox for your home, Amazon has “Amazon Key.”
- In car delivery: another Amazon delivery option, where a carrier can drop off a package inside your car trunk vs inside your house.
What happens if you get a package stolen?
The majority of retail locations will replace the items stolen, immediately. So, one of your first steps should be to contact the retailer and report the situation. Next, you’re able to file a report with local police, so that they’re aware that this is happening in your neighborhood. Some neighborhoods also connect via cell/online apps. Reporting it and talking about the thefts in your communities, increases the flow of information and therefore the likelihood of capturing any perpetrators; especially since other neighbors may have beneficial footage to the investigation.
“6 Shocking Stats about Package Theft.” Smiota, 27 Feb. 2019, www.smiota.com/resources/6-shocking-stats-package-theft/.
“Comcast’s New Security Camera Features Help Consumers Spot Package Theft ‘Grinches’ This Holiday Season.” Comcast’s New Security Camera Features Help Consumers Spot Package Theft ‘Grinches’ This Holiday Season, Comcast, 15 Nov. 2018, corporate.comcast.com/press/releases/comcasts-new-security-camera-features-spot-package-theft.
DiUlio, Nick. “How to Keep Porch Pirates and House Fires From Making Your Holidays Hazardous.” InsuranceQuotes, 29 Nov. 2017, 6:07AM, www.insurancequotes.com/home/porch-pirates-package-thieves-house-fires-holiday-120117.
Edwards, Rebecca. “Top 10 Metro Areas Where Porch Pirates Strike Most.” SafeWise, SafeWise, 16 Nov. 2018, www.safewise.com/blog/metro-areas-porch-theft/.