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    The Best Way to Prevent Package Theft Now

    Online shopping is more than booming—it's a new way of life for most Americans, who rely on home package delivery to receive everything from household staples and groceries to medical supplies and major purchases. Unfortunately, this new shared routine has given rise to a new national epidemic: Package theft. 

    According to a new report by C&R Research:

    • 59% of Americans received a package from online shopping on a weekly basis in 2020. 
    • 43% reported having a package stolen at some point during the year—a significant jump from 36% in 2019. 

    (When you consider that increase happened during a pandemic year—in which most of us were home more than usual—the upswing in package theft is particularly disturbing.)

    All in all, that means about 210 million packages disappeared from Americans' porches in the last 12 months, according to a new study by home security company SafeWise. Some of their other findings: Three out of four Americans have experienced package theft at some point—and 53% have had more than one package stolen from their porch in the past year! 

    The Worst Metro Areas for Package Theft

    Although no place is immune from package theft, some areas are hotter targets for porch pirates than others. 

    SafeWise's study found that these are the 10 worst metro areas for package theft: 

    Metro area

    2021 rank

    2020 rank

    2019 rank

    Denver, CO

    1

    -

    8

    San Francisco, CA

    2

    1

    1

    Salt Lake City, UT

    3

    4

    2

    Seattle, WA

    4

    -

    2

    San Antonio, TX

    5

    5

    -

    Austin, TX

    6

    3

    7

    Portland, OR

    7

    7

    3

    Greenville, SC

    8

    -

    -

    Raleigh, NC

    9

    25

    -

    Hartford, CT

    10

    20

    -


    But whether your area is a porch piracy hotspot or not, it doesn't matter when a package you've been counting on—it might be a one-of-a-kind Etsy find, an irreplaceable family heirloom, or a crucial prescription medication—goes missing. 

    "Package theft is a crime of opportunity. The more packages left for longer periods of time on a porch, the more likely they are to be stolen,” said Dr. Ben Stickle, a criminal justice expert and advisor to SafeWise.

    So what's the best way to deprive package thieves of the opportunity to steal your packages?

    What You Can Do to Prevent Package Theft

    1. Track your packages.

    You can stay aware of potential delivery dates for your packages, via carriers' apps or websites. Most carriers will text or email you when your package has been delivered. Collect your packages from your porch before thieves can.

    Why it's not the best solution: Even if you're home, a porch pirate may get to your package before you can. Law enforcement sources say that many package thieves will follow delivery trucks around and nab packages right after they're delivered.

    2. Don't have packages sent to your home when you won't be there.

    You can have deliveries sent to your office or a friend's house. Many online retailers will deliver to a local UPS or FedEx store or delivery point, where they'll be held securely until you can pick them up.

    Why it's not the best solution: Our schedules are more hectic than ever. Combine that with supply-chain uncertainties, and determining when you might not be home when a package arrives can be a headache—or near-impossible. Lugging packages home from the office isn't always a great option. Delivery points provide security, but will their hours always work for you? And why should porch pirates make you sacrifice the convenience of home delivery anyway?

    3. Install a home security camera.

    A variety of security cameras are available; some include features like motion-detection alerts and the ability to monitor the camera field on your cellphone. (Popular doorbell versions have enabled some recent viral videos of porch pirates.)

    Why it's not the best solution: Don't ask for whom the doorbell camera tolls—it may not help you.Police say doorbell cameras aren't really a deterrent to porch pirates. A security camera provides evidence of theft after the fact. But it probably won't get your package back. Far too often, once your package is gone, it's gone for good. And not every company will send you a replacement. 

    4. Request shipments in plain packaging.

    Some companies (including Amazon) offer an option to ship packages in unmarked boxes to conceal what's inside. 

    Why it's not the best solution: Not every company offers plain packaging, and even those that do may not offer it with every item. So there may be no way to camouflage that expensive kitchen item or new guitar whose colorful packaging is like a neon "take me" sign calling out to porch pirates. 

    The Best Way to Prevent Package Theft—Personal, Convenient, Secure

    Invest in a CITIBIN package locker.

    CITIBIN's package lock box ParcelBin and drop mailbox ParcelDrop keep your packages out of sight, protecting them from package thieves. They're sturdy, spacious and stylish. And they can hold your snail mail too.

    ParcelBin

    ParcelBin

    • CITIBIN's package lock box
    • Available with a padlock or optional combination lock
    • Just give UPS, FedEx or USPS your combination to enable package delivery

    ParcelDrop

    ParcelDrop

    • CITIBIN's drop mailbox
    • No lock or codes needed—package delivery carriers simply open the door and place your packages inside
    • Drop mechanism ensures your packages are securely held until you're ready to retrieve them

    Want to know more? Learn more about ParcelBin and ParcelDrop, or ask us a question in the chat window on the right!

    And check out this video that shows ParcelBin and ParcelDrop in action:



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