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How to Prevent Package Theft

Posted: November 05, 2017

Package delivery is quickly becoming the modus operandi for busy shoppers. With eCommerce options like one-click shopping and free two-day shipping, shopping online is a huge timesaver. Business Insider reports that in 2016, FedEx and UPS collectively delivered more than 1 billion packages between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. And the number continues to rise each year. While home delivery can save you time around the holidays, stolen packages are a headache no one wants to deal with.

According to a report compiled by August, 11 million homeowners experienced package theft from September of 2015 to September of 2016. Needless to say, if you plan to make an abundance of online purchases, you need to plan for package theft. Here’s how to prevent package theft:

  1. Have packages delivered to your work. Delivering packages to a job increases visibility and reduces the chances that your packages might be swiped unexpectedly.

  2. Schedule deliveries for times you will be home. This keeps packages from sitting unattended for long periods of time.

  3. Buddy up with a neighbor.

  4. Require a signature. This extra insurance ensures that you won’t have packages piling up at your door.

  5. Consider using a smart locker. Smart lockers secure your packages until you are able to pick up purchases.

  6. Try a lockbox. Lockboxes can be used to protect packages until you can make it home and retrieve them.

  7. Package Guard. This service uses a weighted scale to keep track of your packages and sounds an alarm if packages are unexpectedly removed. An app also lets you stay updated on the status of your deliveries.

  8. Doorman. Doorman will pick up your packages and re-deliver them to your home during a scheduled window.

  9. Monitor your front porch. Security cameras or video doorbells can be used to keep an eye on your packages, deterring thieves from grabbing them off of your property.

Holidays pack enough stress. With our tips, you can help keep “dealing with package theft” off of your to-do list.

schedule package deliveries

Scheduling package deliveries with care

If you’re not a fan of paying extra for package protection, try a few simple tricks to avoid stolen packages.

  • The obvious solution—schedule delivery for a time when you know someone is home: When possible, arrange to have items delivered when you or someone in your family can be there to retrieve them. Simple enough.
  • Work delivery: You could also use your work address and have packages delivered there, when possible. This reduces the chance of package theft, but depending on your working conditions, this may be more hassle than it’s worth. Your work may have restrictions on personal package delivery. Be sure to check with management before making these arrangements.
  • Require a signature: Some shipping options allow for a mandatory signature upon receipt of the package. If no one is present, the package is not left at the recipient’s address. The downside here is that most delivery services will only make a few efforts before requiring that you come pick it up at one of their facilities, usually not one of your choice.
  • Make nice with your neighbors: With the rise in freelance workers, more and more people are finding a working base from home. See if you and a friendly neighbor can arrange to help each other out by bringing in packages to avoid package theft.

These package theft prevention tips require some planning and flexibility on your part, but can pay off when you receive your unscathed purchase.

think outside the porch

Think outside the porch: Avoid package theft with modern alternatives

When there’s a problem, modern commerce finds a way to offer a solution. In the case stolen packages, contemporary options do not disappoint. Here are a few solutions for package theft prevention that deviate from traditional options.

  • Smart lockers: There are several options available for smart locker parcel retrieval. Even Amazon has a version to ensure that packages arrive safely with the intended recipient. Essentially, it works like this. Someone drops off your package in your smart locker via an electronic code. The smart locker owner receives a text or email notification that a package has arrived. The recipient picks up the parcel whenever it’s convenient for them as these facilities are not bound by traditional operating hours.
  • Lockbox: You can always go a little less technological with a lockbox. A lockbox is a large reinforced container that requires the delivery person and recipient to enter a code to open. If all communication efforts go as planned, you would retrieve your package from your lockbox at your own convenience.
  • Package Guard: The Package Guard is a product specifically designed to deter package theft. A small device the size of a frisbee, the Package Guard sits on your porch awaiting deliveries. You receive a notification when packages are delivered or removed. If an unauthorized person removes your package(s), the Package Guard emits a loud siren to alert those around you that a theft is taking place.
  • Doorman: Doorman is a service that handles your deliveries and drops them off according to your schedule. The service operates from 6PM until midnight. You select a one-hour window of your choice via an app and the package is delivered to you within that timeframe.
  • Rerouting options: For an additional $40 per year, UPS offers an option called UPS My Choice. For the extra fee, you can reroute packages anytime a complication arises.

These less-than-traditional options give you some package theft prevention tools to add to your home security arsenal.

have tracking proof

When your package theft prevention efforts fail, have proof

We don’t like to think about this one any more than you do, but unfortunately, the dreaded does occasionally occur. When dealing with a stolen package does become an item on your to-do list, having proof that a package theft occurs can be an important factor in obtaining a refund. You can use products like the Ring Doorbell or a simple security camera to provide proof that your package was stolen.

Make your life less of a hassle this holiday season and take a few extra precautions to prevent package theft.