Coming home and finding Amazon packages on the porch can feel like Christmas morning for adults. But online shopping also comes with some risks, which means those packages can disappear before you get your hands on them.
According to SafeWise, approximately 210 million packages disappeared from porches across America in 2021. With the rise in online shopping amid the pandemic, that number isn’t expected to go down anytime soon.
In what cities do porch pirates appear most often? And, how do you protect your packages from getting stolen? Here’s what the experts have to say:
The Top 10 Worst Metro Cities For Package Theft
Between a survey of 1,000 Americans—and looking at both FBI larceny-theft data and Google Trends data—SafeWise found the major cities where package theft runs rampant. The top 10 worst metro areas for package theft last year were:
- Denver, Colorado
- San Francisco, California
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Seattle, Washington
- San Antonio, Texas
- Austin, Texas
- Portland, Oregon
- Greenville, South Carolina
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Hartford, Connecticut
Why Is The Problem Getting Worse?
More people than ever are shopping online, and nearly four out of 10 Americans are receiving packages several times a week. But criminal justice expert Dr. Ben Stickle told SafeWise that the real problem is the amount of time that packages are sitting on the porch. Especially since people are going back to work and socializing again outside of the home.
“Package theft is a crime of opportunity. The more packages left for longer periods of time on a porch, the more likely they are to be stolen,” Dr. Stickle explained. “While the volume of packages has increased, it’s likely the value of packages has increased as well, making numerous targets even more tempting.”
How To Protect Your Orders
According to the data, package theft can happen even when you have security measures in place. However, there are things you can do to significantly lower your risk of getting ripped off.
The number one way to outwit porch pirates is to install a doorbell video camera or security camera of some kind. This won’t completely stop package theft, but it can reduce the risk. The numbers show that 34 percent of people using video caught their porch pirates on camera.
It’s also a good idea to get to know your delivery people and network with your neighbors so the whole neighborhood can be on alert. There’s also the option of using a parcel locker or upgrading your mailbox with a secure package drop-off option.
If you do have a package stolen, contact the sender and the carrier. Many retailers will replace your stolen item if you have proof of loss. And, FedEx, UPS, and USPS all have ways to file claims online.
Even though the retailer and delivery company are no longer responsible, many sellers and carriers offer full or partial compensation for a loss. So, it doesn’t hurt to contact them to learn your options.