We can have just about anything we want delivered to our front door with just a simple click. While it has made life easier, it isn’t problem-free. Front door delivery has spawned a new breed of thief, the porch pirate. These opportunists are targeting neighborhoods from coast to coast in search of loot. You may see increased activity during the winter months, but the truth is they can strike at any time.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to give up online shopping for good. You just have to take proactive steps to prevent becoming a victim of package theft. Here are some tips to keep your stuff safe.
1. Ask the carrier to have the package sent to their local office.
Carriers such as USPS, FedEx, and UPS all offer hold options for packages. However, be sure to call ahead of time or visit your carrier’s local store, so your delivery can be held. When you have a package being held, the carrier will place a note in your mailbox to inform you the package is available to pick up. Additionally, you can also opt-in to receive calls about your package.
Many pickups will also require some sort of identification to ensure the package is being given to the correct person, so be sure to bring that with you.
2. Ship the items to a trusted person you know.
If you cannot make it to a carrier’s store during the week for a package pickup, consider having your goods delivered to a trusted friend, neighbor, or family member who will be around for the pick-up.
3. Have packages delivered to your place of work.
If your employer is okay with it, consider having any packages shipped to the office. This way the package will make it to a safe location and you’ll be around to receive it.
4. Opt to ship to the store during checkout.
Some online retailers offer the option to ship the item you purchased to their physical store locations at no charge to you. Typically shipping to the store takes less time than shipping to your house, and because the item will already be paid for, you won’t have to wait in a long checkout line to purchase it. You will most likely need to bring proof of purchase such as a receipt with you, but again this is a great way to safely have the item delivered to you.
5. Take extra precautions.
First, if available take extra precautions when receiving or shipping a package. If you can opt for gift packaging every time you check out. This will conceal the contents of the package and possibly deter porch pirates from stealing expensive goods.
Secondly, consider requesting that your package require a signature upon delivery. This may be a bit of an inconvenience as you do have to be there to receive the item, however, this way your package won’t be sitting out in the open for a porch pirate to grab. Once a parcel carrier has dropped the item off at its destination, it cannot control if it gets into the wrong hands.
6. Consider adding extra home security.
Something like a lockbox or a special device like the Package Guard can safely store your packages while you’re not home. Additionally, a security system with cameras can help, and alarms that have outdoor sensors or sirens can scare away thieves before they even set foot in your driveway or front porch.
These items can be expensive, however, they truly provide security and a place for your carrier to safely store your items until you get home.
What Happens When Your Items are Stolen?
First, contact your local police, this way they can be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and alert homeowners of theft in their area.
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover personal property. So if porch pirates nab a stack of packages off your porch, you could file a claim to help recover your losses. But if you go this route, you’ll need to pay your deductible before your insurance kicks in. So depending on the cost of your deductible and the cost of your lost packages, it may not always be worth it.
You can also call the carrier that delivered your package and file a claim. In the event, you were expecting a package and it never arrived. You can file a theft claim with the parcel carrier. Most major carriers will work to locate the package and if they’re unsuccessful will reimburse you for the loss.
Need help knowing what to do? Give us a call we’d love to help if we can.