My Package Was Stolen: Now What?
Welcome one and all to this week’s meeting of the porch theft support group. If you’ve been a victim of marauding porch pirates, the first thing to know is that you’re not alone. In fact, this support group is getting alarmingly big. Over $25 million in goods are lost to porch thieves every day. We’re all in this together, folks.
Porch theft sucks. Dealing with a stolen package is the pits. Whether you’ve ordered a new bottle of dish soap or a one-of-a-kind Star Wars-themed backgammon board, going from the excitement of receiving the email saying your package has been delivered to finding your porch empty is a great way to ruin your day.
You feel powerless.
But, the good news is, there are actions you can take.
What to do if your package is stolen
Triple Check Your House
First things first, check your house.
If you’re a regular e-commerce shopper, odds are pretty good your local delivery drivers know where to leave your packages. But you never know when it’s going to be the regular driver’s day off, so before you start raising alarm bells, just do a quick walk around and check with the neighbors.
We’ve all found the occasional package wedged into the side door that no one ever uses.
Get a Replacement Shipped
How you go about reporting your stolen package depends on what you ordered, how much it was worth and who you ordered it from.
For everyday items worth less than, say, $100, the easiest thing to do is to report your package stolen and ask for a replacement. The big-box retailers and e-commerce giants will most likely have one shipped to you ASAP.
For higher ticket items, handcrafted products or things purchased from smaller, local suppliers, you might need to provide supporting information to prove that your item really was stolen. The onus is on you to prove you aren’t just hiding it in your closet and looking for a handout.
Proof could include things like:
- Confirmation email from the delivery company
- Footage from a doorbell cam or security camera
- Copies of police reports
File a Police Report
That’s right. For expensive products, or if the shipper requests it, you may need to file a police report about your stolen package. We know you’re just trying to do the right thing and get what you paid for, but sometimes it’s not as simple as a quick email to Amazon.
Police in many jurisdictions are starting to track stolen packages more closely, but the only way they can help keep neighborhoods safe is if they know it’s happening. Since we’ve already covered that most porch thieves look like you and me, keeping track of neighborhoods where porch theft is prevalent will help them allocate more resources in the right way.
Many police departments are asking residents to report porch theft, even when dollar values are low. You may only have lost a new stick of deodorant or a pair of work gloves, but if everyone else in your neighborhood has experienced theft as well, the value of goods lost starts to add up.
Protect Future Shipments
Porch theft is a random and opportunistic crime, so the best thing you can do is protect yourself and the things you order in the future from roving thieves. There are lots of ways you can do this:
- Schedule deliveries
- Change delivery location
- Purchase shipping insurance
- Install security cameras
- Install secure Package Protector
Many delivery services have options designed to help you protect your packages. One way is to schedule deliveries to arrive on days when you know you will be home.
If you receive a notification confirming your delivery for a day you will be out, many shipping companies have options on their website for you to reschedule the delivery to the following day.
Change Delivery Location
We know most package theft happens during the day. If you’re aren’t home very often during the day, maybe consider shipping your package to someone who is?
This could be a neighbor or family member, but also could be work (remember going to the office? Neither do we, but someday we’ll be back and this is an option that…ahem…works) or a third-party pick-up point.
Sign-up for Free Delivery Notifications
Shipping companies like FedEx, UPS and USPS all have free options for you to receive package delivery notifications by email or text.
Signing up will mean you’ll always know when your own packages are arriving – or maybe even get a sneak peek at your next birthday present!
Purchase Shipping Insurance
Yay. So fun.
But if you’ve read this far, you’re almost definitely a grown adult who needs to occasionally do not-fun things like purchase insurance when you buy high-end items to make sure they get delivered safely to you.
It’s not exciting, but it works, especially when you have to plead your case to a small business that can’t afford to send you another of whatever you ordered for free.
Install Security Cameras
We are living in the future where you can do things like watch the mean man take the package off your porch directly on your phone. How cool is that?
Okay, it’s not very cool at all, but if you do need that supporting information to prove your package really didn’t make it into your waiting hands, then a security camera or video doorbell will provide you the footage you need.
Install Secure Package Protector™
A lot of these steps are reactionary. Or inconvenient.
Sure, you can ship your package to your Nana’s house since she only drives to church on Sundays, but then you have to go pick it up, at which point she’ll ask you to have a look at the sink that won’t stop dripping, and also, does this bookshelf look like it’s leaning to you?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just ship your packages to your own home and know they’d be there when you’re ready to pick them up? Secure lockers like the Package Protector™ are a great way to get the peace of mind you want — without a whole lot of extra steps or expense.
A Package Protector™ is durable and a deterrent to thieves, while still being accessible to all major shipping companies. You can install one directly into your exterior wall or mount it on a pedestal, whichever look works best for you.
Bonus Option: Attack Piranhas
Come on. Attack dogs are so 2001. And piranhas cost a lot less to feed. This approach is new and highly experimental, but we hear porch thieves are delicious to these little fishes. If you set up your own attack piranha army, send us an email and let us know how it goes.
For anyone feeling less adventurous, contact us to find out more about the Package Protector™ and how you can protect yourself and your precious packages from porch theft.
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