How to Prevent Package Theft [5 Ways to Stop Porch Pirates]

The best way to prevent packages from being stolen from your porch is to install a security system that records and deters crime. Adding a porch lockbox that opens for delivery people but remains locked against thieves is another great solution. As an alternative, have your packages delivered to a P.O. box so you can retrieve them securely from the post office. You can also prevent thieves from stealing packages from your front step by using delivery scheduling tools and opting in to delivery tracking notifications. This way, you can plan to be home when your packages arrive.

How to prevent package theft

How Often are Packages Stolen From Porches?

Package theft studies have found that 1 in 7 Americans have a package stolen from their front door every year. In total, 49 million Americans are victims of package theft annually. So, it is safe to say that package theft is a very common crime. In an era where online shopping and monthly subscription boxes are the norm, the number of package thieves continues to grow.

  • 14% of Americans have a package stolen each year.
  • Over 40% of Americans report that they have been victims of package theft.
  • Urban and suburban areas have the highest rate of package theft, compared to rural areas.

Your packages may not be safe on your front porch, even in a good neighborhood. Studies suggest that package theft in the suburbs is only slightly less common than package theft in urban centers. So, it’s best to secure your porch so no one gets their hands on your package before you can bring it inside.

5 Methods to Prevent Your Packages from Being Stolen

We all want peace of mind that our packages will be safe at our front door. Whether it’s the middle of the summer or the height of the holiday season, package thieves can strike. Here’s how to stop them:

Invest in a Home Security System with Video Doorbell

The best way to stop your packages from being stolen is to install a smart security system from one of these cutting-edge home security companies. It is essential to choose a company that provides a video doorbell that records and stores HD video. Our top choice is the Vivint video doorbell. It not only records crime in the act—it actively works to stop it. Light and sound deterrents play when a stranger approaches your door, scaring off thieves. This doorbell pairs excellently with Vivint Smart Home outdoor cameras. You will get an instant notification when someone suspicious approaches your door. The outdoor cameras may catch their vehicle—and license plate—on HD video. This evidence can then be used by police to catch the thief.

  • Have a home security system with a video doorbell and outdoor cameras professionally installed.
  • Get a Vivint Smart Home quote today, to add outdoor recording with light and sound deterrents to your front porch.
  • After installing a security system, make it obvious to anyone approaching your front door that the home is protected.
Proactively Protect Your Packages
Vivint Video Doorbell Security Camera | Home Security & Safety
  • Don't just record crime, prevent it.
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*The editors of Pepper's Home & Garden own a Vivint Smart Security System and highly recommend the company and their products.

Once you’ve installed your home security system, show that your home is protected by placing the security company’s sign in your front yard or a clearly visible window. Thieves are less likely to steal from a porch when they know they’re being recorded. So, a security system can deter potential thieves.

Top-Rated Home Security System
Vivint | Smart Home Automation and Smart Home Security
  • Smart security. Professionally installed.
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  • Stop package theft before it happens.
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*The editors of Pepper's Home & Garden own a Vivint Smart Security System and highly recommend the company and their products.

Try a Porch Lockbox

If you have space on your porch, invest in a delivery lockbox so your packages cannot be stolen. A smart lockbox will open for delivery drivers if there is no package inside, which makes delivery simple. If you are expecting multiple deliveries, you can provide a PIN that allows delivery services to open the box and put packages inside. This way, package deliveries are always safe and secure.

  • This lockbox prevents thieves from stealing packages off your porch.
  • High-tech lockboxes offer streaming video, two-way audio, and delivery detection so you never miss a package.
  • Lockboxes that open if they are empty or only at your command allow for safe deliveries and keep thieves out.

The best package lockboxes offer HD video and two-way audio so you can see who is at your porch, communicate with them, and provide delivery instructions. This way, even when you’re away from home, you never have to worry about package theft.

Have Your Packages Delivered to a P.O. Box

One very effective way to stop package theft is to rent a P.O. box at your post office and send all your packages to that address. This way, all deliveries are stored in a secure locker at the post office. Porch pirates won’t be able to get to your packages this way, and you’ll be able to pick up the packages at your convenience.

  • Rent a P.O. box at your local post office and send all packages to that address.
  • Packages sent to a P.O. box will be held securely until you pick them up.
  • This option is best if you have reliable transportation to your post office for easy package pick-up.

The biggest drawback of using a P.O. box to handle your package deliveries is that you will have to make trips to the post office to pick up your packages. Plus, friends and family may mistakenly send packages directly to your address. However, P.O. boxes are a simple and inexpensive way to keep your packages safe from thieves.

Subscribe to Tracking and Delivery Updates

Make package theft harder by staying on top of package delivery schedules. Opt-in to notifications for package tracking and delivery updates. If you receive notifications on your phone when a package is going to be delivered that day, you can ask friends, family, and neighbors to collect the package for you.

  • Turn on notifications for delivery updates so you can collect packages soon after delivery.
  • Package notifications sent directly to your phone allow you to ask friends and family to bring packages indoors for you.
  • A delivery notification can help you recognize package theft sooner, which may help catch the thieves.

Package delivery updates also help in case of package theft. If you know a package was delivered while you were out, but it isn’t on your porch when you get home, you can act fast. Knowing exactly when a package was delivered allows you to review footage recorded by your security system, contact law enforcement, and promptly file for a refund for the stolen items.

Take Advantage of Delivery Scheduling

When you purchase items from a company that offers delivery scheduling, use this feature to avoid package thieves. Schedule packages to arrive on days when you or someone else in your household will be home to receive them. Make sure to avoid scheduling a delivery when your house is empty or you will be gone for days at a time.

  • When possible, shop at online retailers that allow you to pick your delivery day.
  • Choose to have your packages delivered at days and times when someone will be home to collect the package.
  • Schedule deliveries during weekends and late afternoons, when witnesses in your neighborhood may deter thieves.

It may seem too simple to work, but scheduling package deliveries on busy days or during busy times can help deter thieves. Porch pirates strike when no one is around to witness them, such as during the work week. So, scheduling weekend deliveries may scare off thieves who wish to avoid being spotted.

How Do You Catch Package Thieves?

Submitting video evidence to law enforcement is the best way to bring package thieves to justice. A video doorbell can capture footage of the package thief in action, which can be used to charge them with a crime. A complete security system with outdoor cameras may even spot the thief’s vehicle, which can then be tracked down by police.

  • Record package thieves and submit video evidence to police.
  • Security footage that catches thieves and their vehicles on camera can be very effective at making sure these thieves are arrested.
  • Never attempt to confront or take on a package thief yourself.

Do not take matters into your own hands. It is dangerous and possibly illegal to take violent action against package thieves yourself. When dealing with porch pirates, it is best to deter the criminals, record their activity, and use the evidence to assist law enforcement.

How Do You Stop People From Stealing Packages Off Your Porch?

In order to stop package thieves from stealing deliveries from your front porch, you should:

  • Install a home security system that records and scares off thieves.
  • Use a package lockbox, so all your deliveries are securely locked away.
  • Route your package deliveries to a P.O. box.
  • Opt-in to notifications for package delivery dates and times, so someone can be home to receive the package.
  • Use delivery scheduling tools to ensure packages are delivered on days when you will be home.

If you have a busy schedule that takes you away from home often, security systems, lockboxes, or a P.O. box are the best solutions. They work even when no one is home. So, your packages will be waiting for you at your convenience.

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