Preventing Porch Pirates

If you work a full-time job or live in an area with a history of porch pirates, it can be a big hassle to get your purchases delivered. Porch pirates are thieves who steal packages from people’s porches and doorsteps, resulting in millions of dollars’ worth of stolen goods and lost merchandise.

Sometimes your schedule simply doesn’t allow an in-person trip to the store, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice convenient deliveries because of crime in the area. Porch pirates often target homes that frequently receive packages or seem to be unguarded. Protect your purchases by reading our tips below.

Tips to Prevent Theft

The home surveillance industry has a variety of options to help deter and catch criminals interested in your packages. Theft tends to increase around the holidays, but you can start implementing these security measures sooner.

To avoid being package-napped, there are a few ways you can safeguard your porch:

  • Invest in tighter security – Doorbell cameras, security systems and mobile surveillance can help monitor who approaches the front door. Plus, if your purchases are stolen, you’ll have stronger evidence if you want to report it.
  • Opt for in-home or in-car delivery – A feature presented by Amazon, you can get packages placed inside your home or car, as long as you don’t mind the delivery person entering the house.
  • Try an alarm system – There are many gadgets available that can help keep a package on lockdown even when you’re absent. One device involves a delivery person placing a parcel on top of the alarm. Then if it gets removed from that spot an alarm will sound and you’ll receive a notification.

If you don’t mind making an extra trip, you can:

  • Deliver to a friend’s house – Have a friend that lives in a more secure area? Ask if you can have the package sent to their house instead.
  • Post office pickup – Hold all purchases at a local post office and pick them up at your convenience.

Consider these additional preventative measures:

  • Specify delivery instructions – Add directions to place the package in a less obvious spot, such as the side of the house or behind a porch plant.
  • Give the illusion that you’re home – Make it look like you’re home by leaving on a light. Porch pirates tend to target homes that are clearly empty for long periods of time.
  • Make special requests – Ask for specific drop-off times if you’ll be at work or out during a certain timeslot. You can also require a signature for delivery, which will ensure an in-person interaction.
  • Plan accordingly for trips – If you’re going to be out of town for an extended period, ask the post office to hold all mail until you’re back. Porch pirates are more likely to strike if a package has been sitting for a while.

If you’re an avid online shopper, protect against porch pirates by adding security measures to your deliveries. Read our other tips to learn how to keep your doorstep safe and pirate-free.

Author bio: Jerry McSorley is the owner of Eye Trax, the leading provider of solar-powered wireless outdoor security cameras. After working many years within the construction industry, McSorley needed a way to monitor and secure his multiple construction sites. Combining his mechanical engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and extensive business owner experience, he invented an innovative surveillance camera system.