Protect yourself from Porch Pirates

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It’s that time of year.  The air gets cooler and cooler, days are shorter, and signs of Christmas are popping up on TV and in your favorite stores.  It is also the time of year where your special gift orders for a loved one or yourself has a higher tendency to disappear.   The high shopping season gives rise to Porch Pirates…thieves who steal your packages from in front of your home.  While this is nothing new, the pandemic is probably going to drive up the amount of online ordering for the holidays.

Here is something to consider.  The NY Times reported in 2019 that 90,000 packages disappear daily in NYC alone.  Imagine what that will look line in 2020.  Last year, my mail carrier knocked on my door early one Saturday morning until we answered.  He had packages and stated that the postal carriers are being followed, himself included, by porch pirates.

Now, you might have a fancy video doorbell gadget or other video-type surveillance gadgets but are they really enough to scare off the Porch Pirate. With facemasks as a new normal and add a hoodie or jacket with a hood and people will run up to doorsteps and steal packages anyway. Some are so emboldened that they don’t’ even bother to cover up.  Most if the time the video capture is grainy, not enough for a true positive ID (from what I have viewed). 

Here are a few ideas to minimize your chances of being victimized by Porch Pirates:

  • Use your work address as the delivery point if permitted.
  • Have the package delivered to the home of a relative \ friend that you know will be home.
  • Submit a form to your local post office to have your mail held for pickup.
  • Utilize the “Ship to Store” option if available.
  • If buying from Amazon, have it delivered to an Amazon “locker” (a feature that allows you to pick up your package from a secure location).
  • Request that your package be shipped with signature confirmation.
  • If you have a good relationship with your Postal carrier, ask him/her to place package in an area out of sight.
  • If the package ships UPS or FedEx, request delivery to a local FedEx or UPS store or access point (UPS).
  • Specify instructions for delivery when placing your order.
  • Take note on the tracking number and delivery time to coordinate being home at time of delivery.

This short list is far from all inclusive.  You will find dozens of articles and blogs outlining ways to protect your deliveries, including what you just read here.   Basically, I want to be sure that when you order from me, you receive your item.  Don’t be a victim.