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Stuff happens! That’s especially true during the holiday season. With guests coming and going, the fireplace regularly blazing, and packages arriving at your front door by the truckload, this is a particularly precarious time.

New data reveals that porch pirates (aka nefarious folks who sneak up to your doorstep and steal your packages) are among the most dreaded holiday-related worries, according to a survey from home security company SimpliSafe.

Almost half (45%) of the respondents reported they have had packages stolen from their front porch or home.

Porch pirates

The United States Postal Service estimates it delivers more than 13.2 billion parcels between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And with more people doing their holiday shopping online, there are virtually limitless opportunities for porch pirates to stake out neighborhoods, tail delivery trucks, and snatch packages from front doors.

To make sure the Grinch doesn’t strike at your home, Bynarowicz advises monitoring your front stoop with a video doorbell and keeping close tabs on your package delivery updates to make sure you’ll be home when it arrives.

If waiting at home is not feasible during this busy season, schedule in-person pickup at a store or have packages delivered to a neighbor’s house.

Customers who have had packages stolen that were delivered by companies such as Amazon or FedEx can fill out a stolen package claim. Depending on the nature of your claim, the companies might issue a refund. If you’re purchasing a one-of-a-kind item, a good option is to have it insured.

Here Are 9 Tips for Stopping Porch Pirates

For your own safety, if you catch a porch pirate in the act, don’t approach them. Trying to stop them while they’re committing a crime isn’t a good idea as you don’t know their state of mind or if they’re carrying a weapon. The best thing to do in this scenario is to implement preventative measures. 

Ask for the Package Not To Be Placed in Plain View

Most delivery companies allow you to leave comments or instructions for the delivery person. They’re very good at following instructions as a missing package may negatively affect their job status. 

If there is a driver who regularly works in your neighborhood, talk to them if you have a chance and let them know where you’d prefer to have your deliveries left. Perhaps there’s a large plant pot where small packages can sit behind. 

Alternatively, if you have a back door or side door that is not visible from the street, larger packages can be placed there. As we said earlier, this is a crime of convenience, so if the package isn’t in plain view, a porch pirate likely won’t waste time searching for it.

Pay for Package Receiving Services

A package receiving service accepts your deliveries for a monthly or yearly fee. Renting a locker near your home or job makes it easy to pick up packages on your way to or from work or when running errands. The major delivery services offer this benefit.

Require a Signature

Checking the “Signature Required” box for the package when making a purchase means the delivery person will have to knock or ring your bell to complete the delivery. This is great because the driver must interact with an adult in the household before dropping off the shipment.  

They must also make sure they sign to confirm that the package was received. If you work from home, this will prevent porch pirating, but if not, you may want to consider another option. 

Use a Porch Pirate Bag

Porch pirate bags are excellent deterrents for would-be thieves. These bags are large enough to fit most standard packages, and they can be locked onto a fixed section of the porch. 

A combination lock keeps the delivery safe. However, although the bag’s material is durable, it’s still a bag. A determined porch pirate will cut through it, but that’s unlikely as it may take more time than they care to spend. 

Have Your Local Post Office Hold onto USPS Packages

If your local post office offers a package-receiving service, take advantage of it. Not all USPS locations will hold onto your deliveries for pick up, but if yours does, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your package will be safely retrieved and held onto until you pick it up yourself. 

Install a Home Security System

Package theft isn’t likely to happen once a thief sees that you have a home security system. Porch pirates don’t want to get caught committing a crime, especially not on camera, so positioning one over your porch will keep thieves away. 

Motion detectors trigger cameras and lights that will send a thief running in the other direction as well. Even something simple, like a yard sign or window decal, can deter porch pirates.

Ask Neighbors for Help

Asking neighbors who you trust to help you by grabbing deliveries you can’t take in immediately is another option. For instance, if you have a Ring doorbell, you’ll get an alert when a package has been delivered. 

You can then contact your neighbors and ask them to hold onto your package for you until you get home. Also, if you’re on the road frequently, ask if you can use your neighbor’s address for deliveries. 

Talk to your neighbors about starting a watch group, especially if porch pirating is prevalent in the neighborhood. While they can’t be expected to be on the job 24/7, neighbors can work together to minimize thefts. 

Have Packages Delivered To Your Work

Sometimes, it’s easier to have packages delivered to your place of employment if your employer allows it. This works for small or medium-sized boxes. 

Larger shipments are troublesome to carry through the parking lot, and your vehicle may not have enough room for the box. However, if it’s sensible enough, this could be a convenient solution. 

Use the Ship To Store Option

Many online retailers will permit you to ship the order to a local store. Some items are only available for online ordering, so it’s not odd to have them sent to the retail location for pick up. 

Don’t Make It Easy For Porch Pirates 

Porch pirates are looking for an easy score. They don’t want to risk being caught, and you can use the methods mentioned here to make their task difficult. 

Numerous alternative delivery options are now available to customers. You just have to choose the one that fits your lifestyle best. 

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