Porch Theft 101: What Thieves Look for in Targets
No? Just us?
Since COVID-19 hit, we’re all spending a lot less time out, and a lot more time at home working, cooking and online shopping.
The increase in e-commerce and deliveries is staggering. It’s more than doubled since this time last year, and that means there are likely a lot of boxes on a lot of trucks on the way to your porch.
Just the Facts
Don’t believe us?
Online sales were up 16% in 2019 vs. 2018 topping $600B+ in annual purchases. And since you can buy everything from candy to flat-screen TVs to socks online, chances are, you’ve ordered something from your favorite retailer since we all started spending more time at home.
But where you see online shopping and delivery as a convenience, porch thieves see it as a golden opportunity.
A third of adults living in American cities say they’ve experienced package theft, and it’s on the rise. Cities like Denver have seen a 68% increase in porch theft since 2015.
Even before e-commerce went through the roof, it was estimated that over $25 million in goods were lost through porch theft every day.
That’s a lot of socks.
How Do I Spot a Porch Thief?
You can’t. They’re dressed like everybody else. If they wore monogrammed “Porch Thief” windbreakers, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Sometimes they like to put on their formal wear and dress up in jackets that look suspiciously like a delivery driver’s uniform. They’ll even bring a “prop” package so it looks like they’re supposed to be there as they oh-so-casually walk up to your front door, swap out the prop for your actual package and carry on with their day.
And it’s not like they went to Porch Theft University. Porch thieves aren’t sophisticated.
They haven’t spent years honing their craft. If they can walk from the sidewalk to your front door and have opposable thumbs they can steal a package (and let’s be honest, for a crafty thief, even the thumbs are optional) — which means they could be anyone.
What you could be asking is, “How do I see the people who are stealing stuff off my porch?” Video cameras are helpful and are great for compiling evidence after the deed has been done, but in terms of giving you tips for what to look out for in the future, that’s not really what they’re meant to do.
Instead, know how porch thieves are picking their targets — how and to make sure you aren’t one of them.
What Are Porch Thieves Looking For?
A porch. A package. It’s as simple as that.
“But,” you say confidently, “this is a nice neighborhood. Surely we must be safe.”
Nope. Porch theft is far more common in so-called nice neighborhoods. People who live in big houses order nice stuff. Porch thieves aren’t looking to spruce up their home decor. They’re looking to make money.
And while there was a moment this year where it looked like toilet paper would be the new currency, most of the time, porch thieves are looking for items that will earn them fast cash.
Other factors that might put you more at risk of porch theft include things like:
- Your house is set closer to the road.
- Your packages are outside during daylight hours.
- Your package comes with fun logos on it, like that cute smile that might actually be an arrow.
- Your package is big enough to be easily visible from the street.
Clearly all you need to do to protect yourself from porch theft is to:
- Tear down your house and build a whole new one farther back on the lot.
- Keep the sun from rising on the days you’re expecting deliveries.
- Ask the e-commerce giants to completely change their branding to something anonymous because that’s exactly how marketing works.
- Make sure everything gets delivered in teeny tiny boxes.
Easy peasy! We also hear highly-trained attack piranhas work in a pinch, but you might need a permit for those.
So How Do You Prevent Porch Theft?
The porch theft arms race has led to a lot of possible solutions. These days, you can protect yourself by using:
- Remote smart locks so that delivery people can leave packages inside your front door, garage or car.
- Automated delivery lockers that are available at some retailers.
- In-store delivery & pick up options offered in many stores.
- Your office as your delivery address, if your employer allows it.
- Doorbell cameras.
- On-porch lockboxes.
Unfortunately, with all of us practicing the art of social distancing, some of these options aren’t very attractive right now. Visiting busy stores to pick-up an online order means we have to navigate through a lot of people. And when many of us are working from home, shipping our packages to our offices doesn’t make much sense!
If the goal is to make our housebound lives easier by ordering things online, then having a porch theft deterrent system at home makes a lot more sense than using your once-weekly shopping trip to break into the office and collect your packages.
Products like the Package Protector™ mean your packages can arrive at your home, and you can breathe easy in the knowledge that they will be safe until you collect them. These secure lockers can be built into your home’s exterior or mounted on a pedestal near your porch. They’re accessible to all delivery carriers and impenetrable to even the most sophisticated porch thief.
If you’re ready to take a stand for your neighborhood and protect yourself from nefarious porch thieves, we think the Package Protector™ is the solution we all need in our COVID-era lives.
To find out more and to order shop now.
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