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In the question of how to stop porch pirates, the key thing to know is what they look like — and the answer is grim. But it’s time we tell the truth.

Easy Ways to Recognize Porch Pirates

You can usually recognize porch pirates by their distinctive walk. They tend to lean to one side due to the uneven distribution of weight from all the packages they’ve hidden around their body. They’ve taken the “drunken sailor” gait of their seafaring forebears and adapted it to their dryland environment.

Porch pirates tend to prefer trench coats to windbreakers, purple rubber boots to green running shoes, and we hear bedazzled eye patches are lighting up the porch pirate runways of Paris for Spring/Summer 2021.

Yeah okay, that’s not what they look like. We’re just rummaging through our closets and pulling out random costume ideas. It’s never too early to start planning for Halloween.

Really though, porch pirates look like everyone else. In fact, they go out of their way to be unremarkable. If they stood in your yard twirling their mustache and rubbing their hands together (have you ever tried to twirl a mustache and rub your hands at the same time? It’s harder than rubbing your head and patting your belly) they really wouldn’t be very good at what they do.

The internet is full of videos of porch theft, and you can see porch pirates dressed as everything from delivery drivers to maintenance people to a nice middle-aged couple out for a walk with their mini Aussie Goldendoodle, Leopold.

What does a porch pirate look like? They look like you and me and our neighbors and Nana and all the other people you see every day.

DIY Approaches to Protect Yourself From Porch Thieves

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So until they start making “Hi My Name Is Porch Thief” nametags, you’re going to have to take protecting yourself from porch thieves into your own hands. And, like all good defenses, the best ones work proactively.

First things first, get to know your neighbors and make sure they know you. Yes, it involves talking to people, but hey, not only will they keep an eye out for strange people who may not belong on your porch, but they’re also available for that cup of sugar the next time you need it.

In all seriousness though, if porch theft is an issue in your neighborhood, let your neighbors know when you’re expecting a package, particularly if it’s going to be delivered at a time you’re not likely to be home. If they know the man with the ladder isn’t actually there to clean your gutters, they can intervene on your behalf.

Next, if you’re handy — either with electrical work or with your phone to dial an electrician — install some motion-sensor lighting around your porch and home’s exterior. Porch theft is a crime of opportunity, and anything that might draw attention, like a light coming on as a would-be thief approaches your house, may be enough to convince them to move along.

Along with those lights, now might be the time to install a wireless doorbell camera or other security cameras. Many now have apps where you can monitor your home remotely, so you can see when your package box is delivered, and also what your friendly neighborhood porch thieves look like so you can alert the neighbors.

Finally, you can consider enlisting the help of your four-legged friends. Yes, getting a dog just to keep your deliveries safe might be overkill, but if Scruffy has a habit of barking when someone walks onto the porch or passes the front gate, it draws attention from neighbors and passersby that porch thieves don’t want.

Stop Porch Theft Once and For All

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If those tactics all feel a bit…insubstantial, you’re not wrong. What happens if your neighbors are also away the day your package arrives? Or if Scruffy gets stage fright? What good does a doorbell cam do AFTER the fact? Maybe you’re looking for something that will give you real peace of mind.

When the DIY approach leaves you wanting, a proactive and secure solution like Package Protector™ may be a better option. Available in two models — the PORT and PRO — that are either installed into your home’s exterior or mounted freestanding on your porch, the Package Protector™ is a secure locker that is accessible to all delivery drivers and virtually impenetrable to porch thieves.

If you’re ready to take package security seriously, Package Protector™ may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Check out your package protecting options today.