’Tis the season for pie, eggnog, resisting the urge to “OK boomer” your parents, and package theft. What a mixed bag. But having your packages stolen is now a reliable part of the modern holiday season. Package theft spikes in November and December, which is not surprising when you think about the rise of online shopping for holiday gifts.
Last year, the average person had about two packages stolen out of the 76 or so they received, according to a survey from home security company Cove. About 7.2% of packages get swiped in September and October, compared to 37% in December. That’s almost four in 10 holiday gifts lost to thieves who probably don’t even want that sweater you ordered for dad.
Maybe you’ve already departed for your holiday destination, and don’t have time to invest in and install security cameras or a smart doorbell. There’s always an errant package that shows up after you’ve left town, because it got delayed, you forgot you pre-ordered something, or heck—maybe someone sent you a surprise in the mail! Surprises are great, but they’re better when you’re home to receive them.
Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the chance that your packages will get swiped while you’re gone.
Track your packages
About one-third of packages that go missing aren’t due to porch pirates—they’re due to packages getting lost along the way, according to a survey by review platform Clutch. After placing an order online, get in the habit of checking the package tracking information as your delivery date approaches. If your package gets hung up between the retailer and your door, you’ll have an idea of which step in the process was the culprit.
If your package is marked as delivered but you don’t see it, a porch pirate may be to blame. But, it could have been a mistake on the carrier’s end. Check the delivery notice for any notes about where exactly the package was left. Some delivery options include a photo of where the package was placed. This happened to me a few weeks ago: The photo of the delivered package showed a doorstep I didn’t recognize, which led to some back-and-forth with the retailer to have the package re-sent. It was still a hassle on my end, but the seller and I both knew the exact point where the delivery went wrong, instead of guessing where the package may have gotten lost.
Choose an alternate delivery location
It’s easier than ever to pick up your package from a secure location, but if you’ve never tried it, you might be confused by the options. Here are a few you might see offered at checkout:
Amazon Lockers are available in 900 cities, with locations ranging from 7-Eleven stores to GNC locations and even the lobby of some apartment buildings. Packages delivered to Lockers are available for three business days before being returned to Amazon (and refunded). Need more time? Amazon also offers Hub Counters at Rite Aid locations, which give you 14 days to pick up your package.
FedEx packages can be picked up at FedEx Office locations as well as Walgreens, Dollar General, Office Depot, Walmart, and Kroger locations, to name a few options. You can choose to have your package shipped directly to one of these pickup spots, or change your delivery location while the package is en route. Redirected packages can be held for five days.
You can choose to pick up your UPS-delivered package from The UPS Store, CVS, or Michael’s. If your package is already on its way to your home, you can redirect it to an Access Point. UPS is even offering a reward program this holiday season. You can earn a Target gift card worth up to $15.
This one takes a little advance planning, and is available in fewer locations than UPS and FedEx. The U.S. Postal Service offers package GoPost lockers at some of its locations, to allow you to pick up packages whenever you want. You need to register for a free account before shipping packages, because you’ll need to supply a special shipping address for your selected GoPost location.
Hold the mail
Many packages arrive through the good old U.S. Postal Service. If you’re traveling this holiday season, don’t come home to a mailbox that’s overstuffed with junk mail, indicating to porch pirates that your house is ripe for the taking. Submit a mail hold request until you return from your trip. You’ll receive your bundle of mostly junk mail after the fact, along with your packages, safe and sound.
Enlist a friend or neighbor
If you know your neighbors well or have friends who live nearby, asking them to keep an eye on your home is the easiest way to make sure packages that have already been dropped at your doorstep are protected from thieves.
If you don’t know your neighbors well enough to let them know in advance that you’re going on vacation, it may still be worth contacting them in the event you know there’s a package waiting on your stoop. Facebook Messenger or Nextdoor can help you connect with neighbors whose phone numbers you don’t know.
Just don’t get too lazy about leaving a spare key, advised the security team at Master Lock. If thieves are keeping an eye out for packages, it’s likely they’re on the lookout for other opportunities to take advantage of your empty home. Under the mat? Too easy. In a plastic “rock?” Not safe enough. Unless you’re going to secure a key in a coded lockbox, it’s not worth risking having it found by a thief.
- A 26-year-old Brookfield man charged with stealing packages from an Elm Grove home on Christmas Eve
- New California bill would be bad news for porch pirates
- Police: Victims' videos lead to Muncie 'porch pirate's' arrest
- Washoe County Sheriff's deputies arrest suspected porch pirate in Reno
- 5 must-have items to make your life easier in 2019
- Clifton police said package thief was a repeat offender
How to Prevent Porch Pirates from Stealing Your Packages While You're Out of Town have 1041 words, post on twocents.lifehacker.com at November 25, 2019. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.