SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — With the holiday shopping season upon us, some may worry about keeping their mail-order packages safe from being stolen by “porch pirates.”
Today is National Package Protection Day, strategically placed after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as shoppers’ orders start showing up on their doorsteps.
According to a study from Security.org, more than half of U.S. citizens have fallen victim to package theft.
According to Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams, property crime is down 30% for the first three quarters of the year. Though Springfield’s property crime is trending down, people should protect themselves from becoming porch pirate prey with proper preventative practices. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to keep your purchases safe:
1. Track packages
Most online purchases come with an option to track their movements as they’re packaged and shipped to your house. Some online retailers such as Amazon offer in-app tracking services and an alert system that lets you know when your package has arrived.
Use these services to know when your packages have arrived at their destination and try to pick them up as soon as you can.
2. Security cameras
Smart doorbells and other camera-based home security devices allow people to keep an eye out for their packages. The benefit is two-fold: you can see when your packages are delivered and who has stolen them.
Being able to take still shots or video clips makes filing police reports more effective.
3. Divert your deliveries
If you’re not sure if you’re going to be home when the package arrives — or if you know you won’t — consider having the package sent elsewhere.
You might have them sent to the house of a loved one or a family member you know will be home. Having them sent to your place of work may also be an option.
4. Require signatures
Some services will allow you to require a signature rather than have the package left at your door. The USPS, UPS, and FedEx all allow you to require signatures.
5. Make hiding spots
A bare porch leaves your packages open for all the world to see, including roving thieves. Consider investing in some larger decor to give your delivery services somewhere to hide your packages.