Looking to buy something valuable online and have it delivered? Have you considered the risk of when your package is dropped off and the risk of a porch pirate (package thief) simply taking it? With the convenience of door delivery, comes the vulnerability that a package can be stolen.
Here is Mark Rober a YouTuber and former NASA engineer who decided to create an exploding Glitter Bomb as a way to target porch pirates – OMG, their ingenuity was off the chart.
While confronting or trapping these porch pirates may make for an entertaining YouTube compilation video, there is a real danger to your personal safety in doing so. If you do decide to build your own “trap”, review all your local applicable laws before doing so!
This guide aims to overview various strategies and tools to consider when planning for a package delivery
Require a Signature
If you are going to have it delivered to your door, and if there is an option during the purchasing phase, have your package require a signature when delivered. If no one is home, then you will usually be left with a note advising to pick up the package at a pick-up location.
Enable Tracking Alerts
Enable tracking alerts so you know when a parcel is due to arrive so that you can collect it as soon as possible. The longer it sits, the more the risks increase of it being targeted by a porch pirate.
Arrange for any packages to be picked up at the post office or your local Amazon, Fed-Ex, or Purolator pick-up location where ID is required. This is especially important for packages with expensive items.
If you work all day and no one will be home, think about having the parcel delivered to someone you trust who will likely be home such as a parent, good friend, or trusted next-door neighbour who will be home.
Have a large storage box on the porch, or next to your door, with a sign that can’t be seen at the roadside that says, “Place Any mail, Amazon, Purolator, Fed-Ex Parcels inside” – out of sight out of mind! Many delivery services allow you to provide instructions as to where you would like the package to be left/placed upon delivery.
If you want more than just an unlocked box, consider one that is specifically designed to offer more security such as the “Yale Smart Box” HERE
Porch Pirate Bag
Another security option, think about using a porch pirate bag or creating something similar that you can create as a “deterrent” tactic. HERE
Consider installing a mailbox sensor, like the one offered by Ring that will notify you when a package/mail has been placed in your mailbox HERE
Talk to all your neighbours about this risk so that you are all on the lookout for these thieves, and to report any suspicious activity to the police. The best crime prevention strategy has always been a nosey neighbour!
Set up a neighbourhood watch/Alert system via a text or email group to share information with one another about suspicious activity – strength in numbers!
Although a doorbell camera or an external CCTV camera will often not deter a porch pirate, it may provide evidence that police can use to identify the suspect for an arrest at a later date.
Doorbell cameras are great, and do have a deterring factor, but as we have seen in countless youtube videos, even when thieves are aware of a camera, what are the chances of being caught? Unfortunately, the reality is the majority of holiday packages stolen would not catch the thieves.
Deliver to Workplace Maybe?
DO NOT have parcels delivered to your place of work unless you get permission from the boss that it is ok to do so first!
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