Keep Porch Piracy at Bay: 10 Ways to Prevent Package Theft

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated March 10, 2022
Woman picking up package at front door
Photo: DigitalVision/Getty Images

Prevent sticky fingers from ever reaching your package in the first place

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Greedy package thieves turn the joy of online shopping into a mess of disappointment, hassle, and stress. Since it’s a crime of opportunity, there are ways to take temptation off the table. Here are 10 tips to help you crack down on package theft around your home.

1. Have Your Packages Delivered to Your Workplace

For those who are gone during the day, it can be tough to prevent package theft. Instead of having your parcels delivered to your vacant home in the afternoon, consider having them routed directly to your workplace instead. This will help ensure they make it to your hands—plus, it’s also a pleasant way to break up the workday. Be sure to check that your workplace doesn’t have any rules against receiving personal packages.

2. Keep an Eye on Tracking Information for Package Deliveries

Awareness of your package’s whereabouts is your first line of defense against package theft. Monitoring your tracking information might be a useful habit to pick up if you’re facing repeated package theft. Or, to make things easier, sign up for text messages or emails to get automatic alerts as soon as your package gets delivered.

3. Have a Neighbor Pick Up Your Packages

It’s stressful to be away from home when you know your package is waiting on your doorstep. Rather than letting those anxious feelings disrupt your day, get in touch with a trusted neighbor to pick up your parcel for you. That way, you’ll know it’s safe until you come home.

4. Provide Delivery Instructions to Prevent Lost Packages

Many delivery services will offer the opportunity to leave specific instructions for the delivery. Got a plant, bench, or object that can obscure the item? Perhaps you’d prefer the box to go behind a fence or near a side door? Leave a note to let your delivery agent know.

5. Deliver to a Trusted Friend or Relative

If your neighborhood seems to be a hotspot for box bandits, consider redirecting your deliveries to a trusted friend or relative. As a bonus, it gives you a reason to visit and catch up over a cup of coffee.

6. Request Signature Confirmation to Stop Common Package Theft

Many delivery services offer the option to require a signature upon package delivery. The only downside is you could miss your delivery if you step out to run errands during the day. However, even if this happens, your package will usually be available for pickup at your delivery service’s nearest store. If not, they’ll typically make another attempt the next day.

7. Install a Security Camera to Capture (and Deter) Package Thieves

Security camera on house
Photo: Jason/Adobe Stock

The cost to install a surveillance camera could be well worth the investment, especially if you’re facing repeated package theft. Smart home security automation features can even send you alerts if any activity gets detected.

In the worst-case scenario, even if your package gets stolen, you’ll have video evidence of the crime. This will drastically increase your odds of locating the stolen possession or at least getting a refund from wherever you ordered the items.

8. Consider Installing Motion-Sensor Lights

Darkness provides a blanket of obscurity that emboldens a package thief to target your home. Especially during the holidays and winter months when the days get shorter, a bright motion-sensor light may stop them in their tracks. This is also a great way to prevent theft around your home in general. Get in touch with a local security company to learn more about protecting your property and your family.

9. Place Security Signs to Discourage a Package Thief

Security signs and decals can stop thieves from targeting your home. Local security companies will provide these for you, or you can purchase them online. Avoid using fake branded signs, though, as these could get you in trouble for copyright infringement.

10. Deliver to the Carrier’s Store to Put a Stop to Stolen Packages

FedEx, the United Parcel Service, the U.S. Postal Service, and even Amazon all offer to hold your package at their facilities, allowing you to choose when you want to pick it up. While there is the inconvenience of the package not going straight to your house, it could save you from the ultimate headache of package theft. Especially when you’re getting an expensive item delivered, such as a TV or computer, it may be worth the extra effort to have the item delivered to your local hub.

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