December 12, 2022

Prevent Holiday Theft and Porch Pirates

The holiday season is in full swing and there is a good chance that includes online shopping. Package theft peaks during the holiday season, it’s estimated that 23 million Americans have had at least one package stolen from their front porches or mailboxes. Here are some tips to prevent package theft.

Schedule Your Packages and Customize Delivery

Most delivery services provide an option for you to track your package as it is on its way to you, and some carriers even provide an option for you to schedule when your items will be delivered. This feature is helpful, as it allows you to schedule the delivery for a time when you know you will be home and able to grab the package as soon as it reaches your house.

Another option to avoid package theft is to customize your shipping details to require a signature upon delivery. All major delivery services offer this as an option, including UPS, FedEx, DHL and USPS. If you will not be home to sign for your item, you can often redirect it to a trusted neighbor who can sign for you. This way, these packages will not be left to sit on your porch until you get home. Requesting a delivery confirmation from the carrier can also be a helpful way to know that your item has made it to its destination.

Technology is Your Friend

There are many easy and convenient tools to help you protect your deliveries. To combat porch pirating, companies have created PVC reinforced nylon bags that can lock to your front door handle or gate. Delivery people can put the package inside the bag, then lock it to something on your property using the combination lock on the bag. Ranging from $20-$40, a product like this may be a good investment if you experience porch pirating frequently.

There are also many smart home devices that are currently available on the market to help combat this problem. Smart security cameras and doorbell cameras are a great way to keep an eye on your home and your packages while you’re away. Using these devices, you will be able to see any activity going on outside of your home, and possibly even be notified when motion is detected. It may also be a good idea to make it known that you have cameras on the property so that porch pirates think twice about swiping your packages.

Additional Safety Tips

After you receive your packages or any sensitive mail, consider shredding the envelope or taking the labels off that contain your name and address, as this can provide porch thieves with more information about you. Avoid leaving boxes from high-end items like computers or flat-screen TVs outside. This can incentivize thieves to break in and steal the item. Break down these boxes and keep them in a non-obvious location until you are able to recycle or dispose of them.


This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.