It’s the most wonderful time of the year – until your delivered packages are stolen. Each holiday season, shoppers wait for seasonal sales to order gifts online and have them conveniently delivered to their homes. They wait patiently for their packages, yet they never arrive because “porch pirates” have stolen them right off the front porch. In fact, 31% of people say they’ve been a victim of holiday porch theft.
While online shopping has its perks, there are also risks involved. Here are five steps to help safeguard your goods.
Network with Neighbors
Your neighbors can be extremely helpful when it comes to preventing package theft while you’re away. If you’re expecting a delivery, ask your neighbor to watch for it and grab it when it arrives, so you can pick it up from them when you get home.
As a community, make a commitment to watch for and report strangers in the neighborhood. Be aware of suspicious activity and don’t be afraid to call local law enforcement if something seems amiss.
Have Packages Delivered to Work
Most packages are delivered during standard work hours. As such, you likely may not be home when the delivery person drops off your long-awaited purchases. To prevent porch theft, have all packages delivered to your workplace, if possible. That way, you or someone trusted can sign for the package.
Before you make the work mail room your personal post office, ask your employer for permission. It’s important to respect the company culture, too.
Leave Specific Drop-off Instructions
When placing an online order, you usually have the option to include special delivery instructions. This is a great first step to protect your purchases.
Instead of having packages delivered to your front porch, ask for them to be left on the side of the house, under the front door mat, or in the milk box. Porch pirates look for packages that are easy to swipe. This way, they can grab them quickly without being caught.
Placing your packages in more discreet locations lessens your chance of being a victim of theft.
Use a Smart Lock
Smart locks are a great way to protect your packages and ensure a safe delivery. When a package is delivered, you can have the delivery person enter a unique code that unlocks the front door. Then, they can place the package inside, close the door and re-lock it. The passcode then expires and your packages are safe and sound.
Install Security Cameras
The six weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of December are prime for packages being delivered to your home for the holidays. However, that means burglars are more likely to swipe your packages if they are left outside.
Install an outdoor security camera to deter porch pirates and to monitor deliveries. You can check in on your packages using your smart phone to ensure they’ve been delivered and are safe.
If your packages are stolen, the video camera has a record of who came to your porch and when they stole your items. This can be useful information if you go to the police.
What to Do if Your Stuff Is Stolen?
If you’re a victim of theft, there are steps to take to help your cause.
Check any security camera footage – If your package was stolen, the video footage will spot the thief so you can report it to the local police.
Contact the delivery carrier – Each carrier has different ways of handling lost or stolen packages, but you may be able to get a refund from certain carriers.
Alert your neighbors – If you’ve been a victim of porch theft, chances are your neighbors may be at risk. While it won’t bring your stuff back, alerting your neighbors can protect them from a similar incident.
What are some ways you protect your personal deliveries? Share your tips with fellow readers below!
The post Avoid Porch Theft: 5 Tips to Protect Your Packages appeared first on ZING Blog by Quicken Loans .