It’s difficult for the postal office to calculate package theft statistics because, typically if a delivery is stolen, nobody is there to see it. Nobody can really confirm if the package was picked right off of a person’s porch, if the delivery person put it in front of the wrong door, or if the package never arrived at all. But if a neighbor can confirm the package landed at your doorstep, and it’s suddenly gone, you can be pretty certain someone may have sneaked in and taken it. This crime is more prominent than ever around the holidays, especially with the popularity of online shopping. If you’re expecting several deliveries in the coming days, here are some ways you could help prevent package theft.
Tips to Avoid Package Theft
Require a Signature
Many online retailers offer you the option to require a signature for drop-off. If nobody is home when the delivery person shows up and they cannot receive a signature, they are instructed to take it back to the retailer, or to a local post office.
Order Small Items Separately
If you order several small items on Amazon Prime at once, like a scale, a cookbook, and a kiddie pool, the company may take the opportunity to save on packaging and put all of your items in one big box. But giant boxes catch the attention of burglars much more than small ones do. Stagger your purchases of items from the same retailer, so they don’t send them all in a huge package.
Strategically Position Your Surveillance Camera
Activating your surveillance camera can help you determine who took your package, but putting your camera in the right spot can prevent the theft entirely. If you have a decal on your front lawn stating that your property is under surveillance, along with visible cameras over your front door and porch, this can greatly deter someone from stealing your packages.
Use UPS and FedEx Apps
Both delivery companies have apps that send you notifications, alerting you to the exact time you can expect your delivery that day. Once you know this, you can either plan on being home at that time, or you can ask a neighbor or trusted friend to be there. If you cannot arrange for either of those things, FedEx and UPS will often hold your package, free of charge, at a nearby brick and mortar location for you to pick up later. You can typically manage this through the app, or call the company directly.
Have a Package Buddy
If you have a trusted neighbor who walks your dog for you and checks on your home when you travel, set up a buddy system for packages with that person. Make a simple pact that if either of you sees a package on the other one’s doorstep, you knock on that person’s door. If they are not home, you bring the package to your home for safekeeping until its owner can retrieve it.
Receive Text Notifications When Someone is on Your Porch
Sometimes, even if you’ve taken all of the precautions, you cannot prepare for unexpected packages. Perhaps you ordered something from a company overseas that gave you a vague delivery date—like “sometime between December 1st and January 20th.” Then, you have friends who may personally drop off a surprise package on your doorstep. Using your automated home system, you can receive a text message notification anytime someone steps onto your porch, because they will activate the motion sensors. You can then check in on the live surveillance of your home to see who is there. If somebody has dropped off a package, you can call your neighbor and ask them to grab it for you until you get home.
Have Packages Sent to Your Office or Workplace
If the main reason you miss packages is that you are at work, then simply have packages sent to your office. Even if you are away on a trip or out for a meeting, one of the other company members can accept if for you.
You spend too much time picking out the perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones and tracking down the best deals to have your packages stolen right off of your front porch. Take the right steps, and you can prevent package theft – not just this holiday season, but all year round.