Published May 8th 2024

How to stop porch pirates

Written by Level Home Staff

How to stop porch pirates: 8 best ways to prevent package theft

With the rise of online shopping and the convenience of having items delivered directly to your doorstep, package theft has become a growing concern. Last year, a reported 75% of Americans had a package stolen, totaling more than $8 billion in merchandise.

With millions of packages stolen every year, what can you do to deter the porch pirates?

Tips for preventing package theft

1. Schedule deliveries

Porch pirates are on the lookout for deliveries that are left sitting outside your home for long periods of time. To combat this, schedule a delivery to ensure that your package is not left unattended for long periods of time. Check with your delivery service if they will allow you to choose a window of time when you are home or when you can have someone else receive the package on your behalf.

2. Use a PO box or locker

Instead of scheduling the delivery, you can try using a package locker or delivery box to safely store your packages until you can pick them up. You can buy a package locker and have it installed on your property, or you can check with your local mailroom about reserving or renting a PO box. Amazon also offers their own package lockers.

3. Use smart locks for secure deliveries

Did you know installing a smart lock can help prevent package theft? With a smart lock, you can allow access for delivery workers to leave packages securely inside your home. If you aren’t so keen on letting a stranger into your home while you’re away, you can let a trusted friend or neighbor bring your package inside instead. Bonus: with smart lock access, you can even have grocery deliveries like Walmart InHome put your groceries directly in your fridge.

4. Request a signature

A tried-and-true method for making sure you get your package is to ask for a signature confirmation ,which is a particularly good idea for high-value packages. When you request signature confirmation, the carrier cannot leave the package without someone signing for it. This extra layer of security ensures that the intended recipient receives the package and it's not left outside where it can be stolen.

5. Install security cameras

Having visible cameras, like doorbell cameras, can act as a deterrent and provide evidence in case a theft does occur. Porch pirates and would-be thieves know they are more likely to be identified and caught if they attempt to steal a package from a property with cameras.

6. Ask your neighbors

Aside from simply asking your neighbors to hang on to a package for you until you’re home, you can consider setting up a neighborhood watch program to look out for each other's packages. Sites like Nextdoor can help flag suspicious activity and you and your neighbors can look at shared Ring footage to help identify the package thieves. By working together, you can deter porch piracy and help prevent package theft in your community.

7. Track your package

Tracking your package through the shipping company will let you see your package's delivery status and get notifications when your package is out for delivery. This way, you can ensure that you’re home or make arrangements for someone to receive the package when it arrives.

8. Opt for in-store pickup

Although it defeats the purpose of home delivery, you can choose the option for in-store pickup when ordering online to prevent your package from being stolen off your porch. In-store pickup is just that, you can pick up your package at a designated location at your convenience, reducing the risk of it being left unattended on your doorstep where it can be snatched by porch pirates.

Ensuring the safety of your deliveries

By taking these simple steps and being proactive about protecting your packages, you can greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to porch piracy. Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to safeguarding your deliveries.