Porch piracy is a huge problem. As more and more people do the majority of their shopping online, there are more deliveries left on the porch—all ripe for the taking. Criminals known as “porch pirates” drive around quiet neighborhoods during the afternoon while residents are off at work, looking for packages to grab. Unless you have a reliable package lockbox, you can’t be entirely sure that your package will be waiting for you when you arrive. Here’s what to do if a package is stolen from your porch or business.
A Crime Of Opportunity
When you think about it, the trend of porch piracy probably shouldn’t be too surprising. It’s a pretty easy crime, as there are countless neighborhoods across the country where few people are hanging around during the day. With packages being dropped off at record rates, it’s an easy task for criminals to drive around and target boxes left on porches.
Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult for the police to track down and catch these criminals. Even if you have a security camera in use, that footage might not be of much assistance—unless it happens to catch a license plate. While there will be an arrest from time to time, the cops are fighting an uphill battle in this area.
What Can You Do?
If a package is stolen from your porch, you are sure to be a bit angry about the situation. Having something stolen from your property is never a good feeling, after all. So, what should you do? There are a couple of actions that you may wish to take:
- Reach out to the company that sold you the item. They are not likely to be liable for the theft, but they may decide to help you out as a form of customer service, anyway. That may mean offering to replace the item free of charge or at least offering you a discount on another purchase. This is an easy call to make, and for many people, will result in a positive outcome.
- Get in touch with the shipping company. Should it seem to be the case that the item was actually stolen—and not lost in transit or still waiting to be delivered—you may be able to start an insurance claim on the loss.
Some Preventative Steps
To help prevent package theft in the future, there are some steps you can take to limit the likelihood that you will be the victim of porch piracy.
- Design some cover. Take a look at your porch from the sidewalk. Can you see clearly onto the porch to the spot where packages are usually left? If you have a clear line of sight, you can be sure that a criminal will have that line of sight, as well. Try adding a bush or shrub in a strategic location to obscure the view—or maybe even a piece of outdoor patio furniture that packages could be left behind. The riskiest part of stealing a package off a porch is making the move toward the house from the street. Many criminals won’t bother risking it unless they are sure something is waiting to be taken.
- Talk to your neighbors. Often, working together as a neighborhood can be helpful when trying to curtail this type of activity. Ask neighbors to watch out for anything suspicious and let each other know if you have seen cars driving slowly through the neighborhood during the afternoon. It’s particularly helpful to involve those who tend to be home during the day, such as retired individuals or stay-at-home parents.
- Limit the timeframe. You can’t stay home all the time to accept packages. That just isn’t realistic. However, you can order your items strategically to make sure they aren’t delivered at a time when you are going to be away for multiple days in a row. Try to have packages delivered on days when you will be home from work in the early evening, so the item is only sitting out for a few hours, at most.
- Use a lockbox. If you purchase online regularly and don’t want to deal with the hassle of replacing stolen items, missing deliveries, or allowing delivery workers into your home, consider a lockable parcel drop box. With a lockbox, your deliveries can be left in a secure location, protected from criminals and weather alike.
CITIBIN Offers A Leading Package Lockbox
To stop porch pirates in their tracks, consider the PARCELBIN from CITIBIN.
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