Porch pirates have become a recurring nuisance for many people. Just last year, 1.7 million packages were reported lost or stolen per day. As a result, services and items worth $25 million or more were wasted. In 2020, over two billion people bought goods or services online. This increase in online shopping over the years makes the threat of porch pirates that much more concerning.
On average, 40% of package theft usually happens in apartment buildings. Porch pirates are one of the primary reasons why some people avoid online shopping. Around 41% of consumers say that they have avoided shopping online at times for fear of package theft. The problem of porch pirates has just become more significant after the pandemic.
What Is a Porch Pirate?
A person who steals newly delivered packages from other people’s porches is known as a porch pirate. For porch pirates, stealing packages is a crime of opportunity. There is always a chance that small packages can contain something valuable that can be resold, for example, watches or phones.
Package theft increased dramatically after the pandemic, as depicted by the peak in Google searches related to stolen packages. One of the reasons for this is the massive increase in online shopping after COVID-19.
How Can We Use Technology to Prevent Porch Pirates?
Package theft prevention is at the forefront of the mind of every online shopper. Luckily for us, we can use technology to our advantage when dealing with porch pirates. Here’s a list of ways you can use technology to help avoid package theft:
- Using package tracking applications
- Pick-up your package yourself
- Ensuring proof of delivery on your packages
- Installing security cameras
- Using package lockboxes
- Installing video doorbells
- Putting up signs advertising your security system
1. Use Package Tracking Application
Package tracking applications can be an excellent way of preventing package theft. The software allows recipients to see where their package is at all times via notifications. Through these apps, users can know when to expect their package, which can help them pick it up promptly.
Through these digital trackers, users can also easily find out their package’s last known location. So, in case it goes missing, you know where to start looking for it.
2. Pick-Up Your Package Yourself
One more way of avoiding package theft is by picking up your package directly from the mailroom upon arrival or have it delivered when you are present. The best way to do this is by opting for nifty applications like PackageX mailroom.
The app notifies you as soon as your package arrives at the mailroom. You can get the mailroom to hold your package, have it discarded, or schedule a delivery for it at a better time as opposed to it being left on your porch.
3. Use a Mailroom App to Ensure You Receive the Package Yourself
Another advantage of using an automated mailroom is that it sends out automated notifications to the recipients upon package arrival. If the package has arrived at the mailroom of their building, apartment, business, etc, recipients can pick it up or have it delivered to them. Through these apps, you can also ask the company to hold the package for you if you can’t make it in time.
These measures ensure that your package is not left alone on the porch reducing the number of stolen packages.
4. Install Security Cameras to Catch Porch Pirates in Action
There are many excellent security cameras available on the market nowadays. These cameras can send you notifications on your phone in case any audio or motion is detected. Some of them are equipped with night vision, giving you 24/7 video coverage.
Moreover, many solutions nowadays provide cloud storage and backups of the video feed. This way, you can keep an eye on your package and know who picked it up in case you are not at home.
5. Use Package Lockboxes to Conceal Your Deliveries
One of the biggest reasons for package theft is that porch pirates can see your newly delivered unsupervised items on the porch. Lockboxes can be installed in conjunction with your mailbox because not only do they hide your package from plain sight, but they also provide maximum security.
Some of them come with easy slots for delivery and require a key for package retrieval. Others that stay locked at all times need you to coordinate with your delivery person so only they and you can access it.
6. Installing Video Doorbells to Catch a Thief’s Identity
Video doorbells are easy to install, are motion-activated, and come with multiple features. Some also offer an excellent vantage point that can more clearly catch a thief’s identity than an overhead camera. However, they are not very good theft deterrents because they aren’t as clearly visible as security cameras.
7. Putting Up Signs Advertising Your Security System to Deter Thieves
If you don’t have a well-functioning security system in place, putting up faux signs advertising it can also do the trick. Most porch pirates are looking for a momentary thrill and aren’t too knowledgeable about security systems. Window and yard security signs can sometimes be enough to scare them off.
These package theft solutions can significantly help reduce the number of stolen packages from your porch!
What to Do If a Porch Pirate Steals Your Package?
No matter how many package theft solutions you employ, sometimes you still end up getting robbed. Here’s what you can do if a porch pirate steals your package:
• Check the Package’s Delivery Status
Before taking any steps, make sure that your package is marked delivered. If not, you can either choose to wait or contact the shipping company.
• Get in Touch with Your Retailer
By contacting the retailer, you can find out their stance on lost packages. While most retailers deal with packages on a case-by-case basis, you might be able to get a refund or a replacement if you present your case.
• Get in Touch with Your Carrier
Usually, carriers don’t take responsibility for the package once it has been delivered, but you can still file a claim or request a mail search with some of them.
• Check Your Security Cameras
Checking footage for the last 24 hours and looking for activity can help you spot the thief. If this happens, you can file a police report for further assistance. Neighborhood security cameras can also help in this.
• File for Purchase Protection
Some credit card companies have package protection benefits. If you file a claim within the first 120 days of losing your package, you might get a replacement or reimbursement.
• Claim Insurance
Some homeowner’s insurances cover mail theft. However, filing an insurance claim is only ideal for high-value packages.
• File a Police Report
Letting the police know that your package has been stolen as soon as possible can help battle package theft in your neighborhood.
Package theft is closely linked with porch pirates and is a growing problem. If you want to be able to safely retrieve your packages, some package theft solutions are needed. These solutions to package theft include the use of technology like security systems and applications that help you track your package delivery when it arrives at the mailroom. Quick reporting and filing claims after your package have been stolen can also help you minimize your losses. And increase the chances of package retrieval.