Porch Piracy is on the rise and packages are no longer safe unattended on doorsteps.
This year, 64% of Americans have been victim to package thieves, accounting for 210 million packages, according to a recent Safewise survey. This number is up 30% from 2020.
Some thieves steal for themselves; others steal to sell. When a package is opened with something they do not want, they often keep it as a prop when visiting the next home. Specifically, they make it look like they are delivering a package while stealing another in the process.
Package theft continues to increase with more people shopping online since the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 67% of consumers are choosing to shop online this year versus in a brick-and-mortar store.
In a recent study by Vivint Smart Home, a smart home services company, 75% of consumers admitted to being worried about porch theft.
Many residents are relying on their porch doorbells to monitor their deliveries and catch porch pirates in the act. However, law enforcement says that the thieves have found ways to disable the cameras with cheap WiFi blocking devices, making them unreliable.
In contrast, some porch pirates do not care if they are caught on camera. In fact, some even flaunt it.
Porch piracy is more than just an inconvenience – it is a safety issue. While many porch pirates take a package and run, others have been involved in violent acts when confronted with their crime.
Police in various cities are cracking down on package theft this season and are asking residents to report acts of porch piracy to their local law enforcement office.
So what can you do to prevent package theft?
First, consider purchasing an outdoor surveillance camera to monitor for intruders. (Be advised, however, that cameras that run on WiFi can be hacked.) Monitor cameras daily and report any causes for concern to law enforcement.
In addition, communicate with neighbors and create a neighborhood watch plan to help keep the community safe. This involves looking out for each other and each other’s homes. Always notify the authorities if you see something suspicious.
Shipping hundreds of packages to your office is probably not permitted and sending to a friend’s home may be too much of a burden. Therefore, consider purchasing a mailbox at a business center like Express Business Center in the Allentown area, where they can safely accept and monitor your mail. They offer mailboxes with a real street address, not just a P.O. box and their notification system allows you to opt in to be alerted when mail arrives. Your mail and packages will remain with them until you pick them up.
Shopping online can save time and money, if you remember to protect your packages!
Murtaza Jaffer is the co-owner of EBC Printing of Trexlertown. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org