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5 simple ways to stop ‘porch pirates’ from stealing your holiday purchases

Many people have grown accustomed to online shopping after a year of lockdowns, working from home, and limited travel. Ordering just what you need with a few clicks and picking up your goods right at your door has become a norm in the post-pandemic world. Unfortunately, as people head back to work, school, or travel more frequently, porch pirates, aka people who snag your packages while you’re away, have become more common. With parcels left unattended, thieves take advantage of the opportunity, and you are left reordering another item.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to prevent this from happening to you. We’ve collected a few simple solutions to help you banish porch pirates and protect your packages while you’re away from home.

video doorbell beside front door on porch

Install a video doorbell

Video doorbells from brands like Blink, Ring, or Nest are great options for homeowners looking to add an extra length of security. Place your video doorbell by your front door and leave instructions on your order asking the delivery person to leave the package in view of the camera.

Many video doorbell systems have an accompanying app so you can watch a live feed of the goings-on at your doorstep. Some systems are also motion-activated, so you can get an alert on your phone when the camera detects movement. This is especially helpful if someone approaches your front door after a package has been delivered.

Depending on the type of video doorbell you choose, you might also have the option to record footage, create an automated voice response, or speak live through the doorbell to people on the porch.

Keep a lockbox on the porch

Lockboxes come in several sizes, so you can find just what you need. Many of them are weighted or bolted down to prevent theft and allow delivery drivers to drop off your package without any additional steps. Once dropped in the box, the package can only be retrieved by you with the appropriate key or combination.

If you don’t want the lockbox on your porch, consider a locked mailbox. While they can’t hold large packages, they are still much safer than leaving a package stranded on the porch. Additionally, you can always put the lockbox on the side of the house or by the back door to keep it out of sight. Just be sure to leave a note on your order instructing the delivery person on where to place your package.

Deliver it to a different location

If you don’t have a ton of money to splurge on home security devices, simply delivering your package to a different location can minimize porch pirates. Places like USPS and Amazon have drop-off locations around the world so you can head to one of the locations to pick up your items. If you have friends or family members with more secure setups, you could also mail it to them.

Designate an out-of-the-way spot

As mentioned above, asking the delivery personnel to place your packages in alternative locations around your home can maximize your package security. When choosing a location, find a place that isn’t visible from the street but maintains easy access for delivery drivers. Unfortunately, these methods aren’t always the best, and there’s no guarantee that the delivery driver will follow your instructions. This solution is great, but it isn’t the best prevention method for package theft.

woman picking up a package on her front porch

Allow garage or gate access

Allow garage or gate access to delivery drivers to ensure your package arrives safely behind a locked door. Amazon Prime members have access to smart technology called Key In-Garage delivery, which enables drivers to access your garage and place your packages inside. If you don’t want to offer garage access or are not a Prime member, you can also allow gate access to delivery drivers by providing special instructions. Or, if you have smaller packages that aren’t breakable, you could request that the driver simply drop the package on the other side of the fence or gate, preventing porch pirates from being able to access your items.

This holiday season, prevent package theft and ensure your items arrive safely on time and in good condition. Using video doorbells, in-garage delivery, lock boxes, or different drop-off locations can all minimize the risk of porch pirates for your items. Be sure to review all of the details of each solution to find the one that best suits your needs and lifestyle.

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