36% of people in the US had packages stolen from their homes in 2020, adding to the climbing number of package theft statistics globally with the increase in online shopping.
While someone might seem like a friendly neighbor strolling the sidewalk, before you know it, they've roamed up to your front door, and poof, the package has disappeared.
Not only is this frustrating, but you've lost a product that you've been waiting on and the money that you spent purchasing that product.
After many news stories about package theft, it makes you wonder how to prevent package theft from happening to you.
Package Theft: How Common Is It?
While it once wasn't seen as much of an issue, package theft has been on the rise. There are more than 1.7 million packages stolen from people's doorsteps every single day.
This has caused a whopping $1.25 million in losses for those who've purchased a stolen product. Many of us never think twice about having our packages delivered to our front doors, but with growing numbers like these, we must take precautions to prevent package theft from happening.
Here are some useful tips that can help you stop yourself from becoming a victim of package thieves.
Opt For Pick-Up Instead of Drop-Off
When you order a package and are waiting for it to arrive, the postal service will leave it at your front door unless told otherwise. One of the first things you can do to prevent becoming the target of a porch pirate is to have your packages held at the Post Office or an Amazon Locker.
Once the package has arrived, you'll be sent an email or text alert informing you that it's ready for pickup. This is a safer way to help protect your package because once you arrive at the post office, they will require that you present identification before handing over the package.
You can also ask your post office about the P.O box options they offer to people in the area. All your mail will be delivered to this P.O box, and you can guarantee that it will be kept safe and secure until you're able to retrieve your items.
Install Security Cameras
You've seen videos of funny things that people do when they're being recorded without knowing. Lately, this has been the case with motion activated doorbell cameras.
While these videos are quite humorous to look back on, a security camera can also catch a delivery person approaching the front door or someone trying to steal your packages. When people are aware that a camera is monitoring them, it reduces the likelihood that they will proceed with stealing your package.
However, if your package is stolen, you'll still have camera evidence to provide to law enforcement to help them track down the person that's responsible. There are various security devices that you can use for theft prevention until you're able to get them off your front porch.
Sign Up for Delivery Updates
There's nothing more exciting than coming home and seeing the package that you've been waiting for right there on your front steps. But, there are times when you come home and expect your package to be there, but it's not.
Another way to prevent package theft is to sign up for text and email alerts once you've purchased your items. Depending on the delivery service that you're using, you'll be offered different alerts that you can sign up for, including:
Delivery time change
Having these alerts will help you know what time your item has been delivered to your home and take the guessing game out of the package delivering process. If the item says it's been delivered, but you can't find it when you get home, you might have fallen victim to package theft.
Select Additional Safety Features
Some delivery services give you the option to add other features to all your deliveries. For example, before a package is left at your home you can require a signature to receive it.
If there is no one there to sign for the package, it will be returned to the post office, and they will attempt to try again the next day. This ensures that someone at your home can retrieve the package and that it's not left unattended for long periods.
Package guards are a new way of deterring someone from taking something that doesn't belong to them. The guard is a smart device that's placed on your front porch.
When your package deliveries arrive you will be alerted when it's there. When someone picks up the package from the porch you will receive another notification, and if the guard is removed without entering the proper disarming code it will begin to sound a loud alarm.
We don't know about you, but we think there's something about a loud blaring siren that would deter anyone from continuing to steal your packages.
Connect With Your Neighbors
We recommend that if you're going to be gone for an extended period or will be at work longer than you anticipated that you speak with your neighbors about picking up your packages from your home. Your neighbor, if willing, could keep the package at their house until you've come to pick it up.
The best way to do this is to send your neighbor the alert that the package has gotten safely delivered. This way, they aren't sitting outside all day looking for a package.
Pay for Insurance
If you're purchasing multiple items or expensive items, you might want to pay the extra money for package insurance if the company offers it. Package insurance protects you and your purchase if your package becomes lost, destroyed, or stolen in transit.
We recommend that you check the website that you're having deliver your package and scroll through the insurance coverage that they offer. If a package has been stolen or gets lost in transit, you have a specific amount of time to report it and have the delivery company recover your item.
Even though you've done everything you need to do to deter a porch pirate, there are some occasions where they still manage to take your package.
What Should You Do?
If your package gets stolen from your porch, there are some things that you can do that will stop it from happening again and will help you to get your package back. The first thing you should do is contact the authorities and notify them of what took place.
As we stated earlier if you've got video evidence of the person in question stealing your package, provide them with this as well. It will help them put a face to the suspect that they're looking for.
The next thing you need to do is get in contact with the seller of your stolen merchandise. Most sellers understand that things happen and will work with customers by providing a small refund or resending the item.
Lastly, file a claim with the service that delivered your packages to your home. Before filing your claim, make sure to read the fine print first because some services require that you wait up to 48 hours before filing your claim.
This gives the package time to get delivered if the system updated early or there was a delay that you weren't notified about. After the claim has been filed, the delivery service will open an investigation into what took place.
But, it would be best to prepare yourself because an investigation doesn't mean that they'll be able to recover the missing package or that they will find out who took it. This is why you must take the tips we provided above seriously to help protect yourself from package theft.
How to Prevent Package Theft?
As package theft continues to increase, it doesn't mean you've got to sit by and wait to become a victim. You can do numerous things to help protect all packages that are being delivered to your home, especially during the holiday season.
For instance, you can sign up for delivery alerts that notify you of your package's current status and when it gets delivered. It's also helpful if you install a security system to catch people in the act.
ADT is one of the leading security providers in the world. Contact us for a free quote. We've got home security systems, doorbell cameras and outdoor security cameras that can help protect you from package theft today!