How to deal with porch pirates: 3 strategies to prevent package theft
Since the pandemic, These days almost everyone orders online, and it has become a very easy and convenient way to buy what you want. You can order anything you want from the comfort of your home and have it delivered straight to you in days, sometimes in a matter of hours.
Unfortunately, package thieves take advantage of this shopping method by stealing packages from outside of your house. It's a crime that can happen to anyone.
According to SafeWise, a whopping 260 million packages were stolen in America over the last year alone. This crime affected about 79% of Americans in 2022 which is a higher amount than the year before. This is most likely due to the increase in online shopping which has led to more packages being delivered, and porch pirates definitely take advantage of it. It doesn't matter what size the box is or where it comes from, these people will steal anything, which is why you should take certain precautions to lower the risk of it happening to you.
It's never fun to have a package stolen, especially if it is something important like a birthday or Christmas gift for a friend or loved one, but package theft is a problem that happens year round, and not only during the holiday season. Nobody wants to get home to find out that the packages supposed to be waiting for them are nowhere to be found.
Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to protect your packages from being stolen. With Bounce Package Acceptance you can find the ideal package pickup location for you, whether that's near your work, your home, or while you're traveling. With Bounce Package Acceptance, peace of mind is at your fingertips.
What are Porch Pirates?
The term Porch Pirates is used to describe anyone who steals packages that don't belong to them. This can happen when items are left out on a front porch, doorstep, or somewhere else where they are left unattended for long periods of time. Porch pirates might drive behind delivery drivers and wait to grab unsupervised deliveries, or they might just snatch any box that they spot as they pass by.
What factors increase the risk of having a package stolen?
Porch piracy is a crime that happens in all 50 states, with the top 10 most affected ones including San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Hartford, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Portland, Fresno, Milwaukee, and New Orleans. Big cities are more likely to have packages stolen from porches, but it can happen in rural areas as well.
You might also have a higher risk of getting your items taken in apartment blocks than in homes with single families. Porch pirate thefts don't only happen in the United States however, other countries suffer from this problem too. About one-third of Canadians experienced package theft back in 2020 which was more than the year before.
A few ways to stop package thieves
Knowing that package thieves are out and about, what can you do to make your package delivery more safer from porch pirates? Sometimes you might not be home when your items arrive, and if you are out all day then the packages delivered are at risk of being snatched for a long time. However, there are some security measures that you can invest in and they just might save your deliveries.
Use a package receiving service
If your porch or front step isn't safe enough, you might want to ship your items somewhere else. Bounce Package Acceptance is ideal. At Bounce, we work together with businesses such as restaurants, dry cleaners, and hotels all over cities around the world to provide a safe place to store your packages until you can drop by and pick them up.
All you need to do is choose your package pickup location on the Bounce website and use your Bounce address and code when you order your package. Your pickup location will let you know when your parcel has arrived - stop by to claim your packages anytime during their opening hours. Our customer support team is available 24/7 to answer any questions.
Choose from 3 different plans, like the Pay-As-You-Go option which only costs $5, or the Monthly Subscription which allows you to store up to 10 packages for just $20. If you shop online often you might want to sign up for the VIP Subscription which allows you to stow as many packages as you want for $250 per month. Some packages might require a signature, but Bounce can sign for you!
With Bounce, you can ship any package to your pickup address, no matter which delivery company the sender uses.
Alternative options to Bounce Package Acceptance include Amazon Hub Locker and UPS Access Points. When you shop on Amazon and proceed to checkout, you can put an Amazon locker location as your delivery address. You'll receive a pickup code and then you have 3 days to collect your package from the locker. UPS Access Point works differently. Order online, and choose a UPS Access Point location as your delivery address if the company you are buying from has that service. You'll receive an email or text when the package is ready for pickup.
Install home security cameras
If you are still planning to have your package delivered to your house, consider investing in a doorbell camera that will let you check on your package or alert you if there is movement outside of your door. Video doorbells or just regular security cameras can also capture valuable evidence in the case of packages that are actually stolen, which you can then use to file a police report.
Some of them also have two-way communication so you can speak to the delivery drivers and let them know where to stash the package, or you can even speak to someone trying to take your delivery to tell them that they are being recorded on camera. Having visible security cameras can also deter porch pirates as they will not want to risk being caught.
Connect with your neighbors
If porch piracy is a common occurrence in your own city, you might want to consider banding together with your neighbors to keep an eye out for obvious signs of package theft. The US Postal Service and many other companies around the globe offer tracking information that can be used to your advantage as well. You will know exactly when the items arrive and can ask a friendly neighbor to grab your package as soon as it is delivered. They can then keep it safe for you until you get back home.
You can also choose from a selection of neighborhood apps that can send out an alert when piracy occurs, which may help you take action to stop any would-be porch pirates that are currently in your area. Some apps to check out include Ring's Neighbors app and the NextDoor app.
What to do if you fall victim to porch piracy?
Nobody wants to be that person, but sometimes package theft occurs even when you have taken all of the necessary precautions. It never feels good to have your things taken, and you don't want to just lose out on that money. So what can you do to get back your stolen packages?
Contact your delivery service
Some postal service companies will take a picture of your package as proof of delivery, so you should contact them first if you get home and don't see your package. Ask them to confirm that the package had arrived, and once you know for sure that your box was stolen you can move on to take action against the thievery. Keep in mind that this is not the shipper's fault and in some cases, they won't be able to do anything to help, and contacting the retailer might be the next best step.
In some instances, there are home and renters insurance policies to support you in the case of lost packages, and the retailer might even replace the item for you. However, it is still inconvenient to have to wait for it to be delivered again which is why you should do what you can to prevent it.
File a police report for a package stolen
Once you can confirm that your package was actually delivered and taken, you can file a report with a police officer in hopes that they will find the person who took it and, potentially, get your package back. If you do have a doorbell camera or any footage of the crime taking place it is important to show it to the police, as it could help them to identify the thieves.
Check your or your neighbor's security cameras
If your video doorbell camera didn't happen to capture the theft or you don't have one of these devices, you can always check in with your neighbors. Maybe they saw it happen or have their own home cameras that have some useful footage that could be used to help locate your delivery and the person who took it.
How You Can Prevent Future Thefts
It is unfortunate that package theft has become such a regular crime, and it has even begun drawing attention on a federal level. In fact, some places in the United States have implemented a Defense Against Porch Pirates Act bill that would identify porch piracy as a felony. However, this doesn't seem to be stopping the thieves, which is why it is important to do what you can to protect the items delivered to your property in the mail. Holiday packages are a big target, so be extra careful during Christmas time as porch pirates will be on the lookout.
Need to get a package delivered? Sign up for Bounce Package Acceptance and get started today! Safe from porch pirates, we'll keep your packages safe, so that you can take your time back.