We've all seen it on the news and social media; video footage of someone's porch, a package, and a stranger running up to a front door, snatching said package, then running back to a waiting car.

Package theft has become a larger and more common problem as consumers rely more heavily on eCommerce and online shopping. "Porch pirates", as the thieves are now commonly called, have a fairly simple MO (modus operandi): a pair of "pirates" survey and case a neighborhood (usually during the day while folks are working or away from home), identify homes and businesses with packages unattended in front of them, then while one remains in the driver's seat the other rushes out of the car, runs up to a porch, stoop or driveway, snatches whatever is awaiting its rightful owner, then runs back to the open vehicle, and the duo speeds away. The "pirates" don't really care what's within the parcels - in most cases they don't actually want what's being delivered to online shoppers (with the exception of electronics or other high value items). They seek to pilfer what's on your doorstep, then proceed with a return with the online vendor the item was purchased from and receive gift cards to then make their own purchases. Again, this isn't always the case, but this process has been the popular method as of late.

So what can you do to prevent this altogether?

  • Insure your upcoming shipments and purchases - look into and opt for additional insurance on expected parcels. Some carrier services do automatically come with some form of insurance, but it may not be sufficient enough to cover the declared value of the package contents. By adding this nominal feel onto your shipping cost, you'll save a lot of frustration should something happen to your shipment en route, or worse, theft occurs before you ever see your parcel (seriously, good luck with trying to file a loss claim with carriers without insurance)
  • Require ADULT signature upon delivery - the carrier CANNOT legally leave the package unattended. If the package is left without a signature, and it's then damaged or stolen, you are legally entitled to recoup all monies spent on the item, and the shipping cost. Seems simple, but often this feature and additional shipping expense are negated
  • Reroute or reschedule a package delivery - to a more convenient address or time of day you'll be available to receive your parcel. Consider changing delivery location to your office, a friend, family member or neighbor whom you trust, or a time you'll be home to greet your courier
  • Use a package "locker" - it's like an ATM, but for parcels, and only the designated receiver can retrieve parcels with a unique PIN or code. Amazon locker is a good example
  • Install a security camera - not to create an endless loop and promotion of surveillance footage of package thefts, but they can help. Being armed with a security camera can help you build a case for the package theft, and help identify the thief for authorities. Also, it's a great home insurance deduction and peace-of-mind inhibitor
  • Place a "Package Guard" system on your porch - to help you be aware of when packages are left at your door. The Package Guard is a small, circular device that packages are placed on top of, thus notifying the owner (via WiFi) of a delivery. You can then rush home to secure the package, or ask someone to retrieve it for you, and mitigate the amount of time a parcel is left unattended in front of your home or business
  • Rent a secured, private mailbox - let someone else (like PostNet Far West) handle, secure and protect your packages for you. It's simple; we receive your packages from all major carriers (FedEx, UPS, DHL International, and the US Postal Service), and we then keep them under lock, key, and watchful eyes until you pick them up. We can either notify you via email or phone of your delivery, or we'll simply place a delivery notification slip in your mailbox. What's better? You can use your mailbox address (a genuine street address, not a PO Box address) to establish a personal or business address

Package theft will continue to happen as online shopping and eCommerce popularity continues to increase. Do what you can to help prevent this happening to you - and let us help in that fight. Happy shipping and receiving!