Petty Package Crime
Ecommerce has long been a major part of how people buy goods, with this segment totaling nearly 15% of all retail sales in the third quarter of 2022. And while ordering online is loaded with benefits, it’s not without some notable downsides.
Petty criminals have taken to swiping delivered packages from doorsteps before the homeowner can get to them. According to estimates from SafeWise, porch pirates have stolen approximately 260 million packages in 2022, worth a combined $19.5 billion.
Top Porch Pirate Ports
Hopefully, you haven’t had to deal with people stealing packages in your neighborhood or building. But porch pirates are more prevalent in some areas than others. The most common place for package theft to occur is the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland and San Jose.
Other hot spots for this type of crime include Seattle, Austin, Hartford, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. Even if you haven’t had any packages stolen, it’s still a good idea to take measures to protect yourself.
Protecting Your Packages
One of the easiest ways to prevent people from stealing your packages is to sign up for email or text alerts when your package is delivered — a service that is offered by most major logistics companies. That way you can plan to get your package off your doorstep as soon as it has been delivered.
If you’re unlikely to be home when it arrives, or regularly leave home for extended periods of time, you might want to consider switching your mailing address to a PO Box, Amazon (AMZN) Hub Locker, or any similar third party service that will keep your packages safe until you’re able to retrieve them. For this strategy, you can also use a friend or relative’s address.
Putting up a security camera is another way to deter crime. Just the apparent presence of a security system might ward off potential pirates — even if the camera doesn’t work.
Package theft is an easy crime to commit and a hard problem to fix. Since neither the retailer or the delivery service is at fault, you may not even be able to get a refund on a stolen package. For this reason, the best offense against porch piracy is a good defense.
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