As we do more and more of our purchasing online, package theft (or “porch piracy”) is growing into a significant problem. With the summer months here, people are spending more time outdoors and away from home, leaving more packages sitting vulnerable on stoops and porches.
Read on to learn more about the issue of package theft in North America — and foolproof ways to keep your deliveries safe this summer!
According to a 2017 study by Fluent Research, nearly one in five U.S. homeowners had experienced package theft in the year prior. Those who had reported it as a problem had an average of 2.6 packages stolen in that time period, and 69% said the problem is growing in their neighborhood. A similar study by Insurance Quotes found that 26 million Americans have had packages stolen.
The issue is becoming more serious, not just because of the increase in frequency, but also due to the types of deliveries that victims are having stolen. In addition to gifts and goods purchased online, people are increasingly having essential items like their prescription medications and groceries delivered. For elderly or disabled folks who have difficulty making it to a store or pharmacy, home delivery is more than just a luxury — but having an important package stolen can be a serious setback.
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According to a 2019 report by SafeWise, a home security company, the top cities in America for porch piracy are Austin, Salt Lake City, Miami, and Atlanta. And many urban areas see a dramatic uptick in package theft around the holidays — with cities in Texas and Florida seeing the most significant increases.
But package theft is not limited to urban areas. You may be surprised to learn that the state with the highest rates of package theft is North Dakota! In that state, packages are stolen at a rate 26 times above the national average. While the density of cities presents ample opportunity to porch pirates, the more secluded settings of rural areas may embolden people who know they can grab a package and get away without being noticed.
The most reliable way to prevent porch piracy is to remove your porch from the picture altogether and have your packages delivered to a safe third-party location. As a part of PostNet’s mailbox services, we’ll collect packages on your behalf and hold them securely until it’s convenient for you to come in and collect them.
Many people attempt to deter porch pirates by installing motion-detecting home security cameras; however, even with footage of the thieves, it’s rare for justice to be served and packages to be recovered. According to 2019 data, less than 10 percent of reported package thefts result in an arrest.
Additionally, you could set delivery preferences to ensure that you only receive packages during the hours that you’re home. But sadly, sometimes packages can be nabbed just in the few minutes it may take you to get to the door. Reports are growing of porch pirates who simply follow delivery drivers around and grab packages as soon as they’re dropped off.
Have you or your neighbors been hit by porch pirates? Looking for a reliable way to make sure you never miss another delivery? Sign up for PostNet’s mailbox rental services today!