Last year an astonishing 79% of Americans experienced the theft of packages by porch pirates. Across the nation, these pirates pilfered over 260 million packages during that period, resulting in a total value exceeding $19 million in stolen merchandise. Some simple steps can be followed to make sure you aren’t a victim.

Each prominent delivery service, along with the US Postal Service, now provides real-time updates on the expected arrival time of a given package. In most instances, you can monitor its journey and receive notifications when it’s loaded onto the delivery vehicle. The tracking information is typically refreshed to indicate successful delivery.

To effectively thwart porch pirates, a straightforward approach involves utilizing this tracking data to promptly collect your package upon arrival. If you cannot be present at home during the delivery window, enlisting someone else to monitor your doorstep on that day is a practical alternative. Minimizing the duration between delivery and retrieval serves as a simple and effective strategy to prevent porch piracy.

As porch piracy rates continue to rise, numerous companies have responded by producing specialized lockboxes designed explicitly for receiving packages.

When placing an online order, you can provide instructions for the delivery driver to utilize your porch lockbox. These lockboxes come in various designs, including some with a slot for drivers to drop small items into, which then require a key to open. Others may necessitate a specific code that you can share with the delivery driver.

While this type of lockbox may not be the most budget-friendly option, with high-quality versions often costing hundreds of dollars, the investment could be worthwhile if you frequently receive valuable packages or reside in an area prone to package theft.

Typically, delivery drivers commonly leave packages on porches or at front doors as a standard practice. However, there’s an alternative option available with most companies—requiring a signature upon delivery. In this scenario, the driver cannot leave the package unless you are present to sign for it.

While this approach can be inconvenient, especially if you’re not frequently home during the day, it provides an added layer of security. A few missed deliveries may lead to packages being returned to the sender, but for valuable items, the reassurance of ensuring they are not left unattended on your porch might outweigh the inconvenience.

Studies have shown that your home is less likely to be subject to theft if it’s clear you have a home security system of some kind.

Video doorbells are gaining widespread popularity as a home security solution. Leading brands such as Ring, Arlo, and Nest offer doorbells equipped with integrated home security cameras. When the doorbell is activated, users can access a live video feed, enabling them to both see and hear the visitor. Additionally, the camera supports two-way audio, allowing homeowners to communicate with individuals on their porch.

Owning a doorbell with a built-in security camera can provide several advantages. Firstly, potential burglars and thieves are often deterred by the presence of security features. A would-be package thief, upon noticing the security camera, may reconsider their intentions, enhancing the overall security of your property.

Furthermore, these video doorbells often feature motion sensors and a notification system. This system sends an alert whenever someone is detected on your front porch, providing the option for initiating two-way communication. In the case of a delivery person, you can give specific instructions, such as placing the package behind a designated post or plant. Conversely, if a potential porch pirate is detected, you have the capability to inform them that their actions are being recorded.

The widespread popularity of these doorbell cameras has led to their availability at competitive prices. Quality options can be easily found for under $150, making them an accessible and effective choice for enhancing home security.

According to data collected by a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 83% of burglars try to determine whether a house has a home security system. If security is present, 87% would move onto another home.

So how do you make it clear your home is secure and encourage potential thieves to move along? Obvious signs such as security cameras on the exterior of your home can be enough. Many home security companies also provide their customers with signs to place on the front yard. 

Finally, you can take advantage of the benefits of a home security system without actually having one. Some companies sell fake security cameras and yard signs for those who simply want to give the impression that they have a home security system — though with the rise of the $20 security camera, it’s not hard to justify the extra few dollars to buy the real thing.

By combining several of these methods, consumers can protect themselves from having their Christmas cheer stolen off the front porch.

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