Porch Pirates

Feb 20, 2019 | News

Recently homeowners have reported incidents of packages disappearing from their front porch.

Here are some things that you can do to stop porch pirates from running off with your packages and what to do if they are stolen.

Track your package

All of the major carriers offer package tracking with estimated delivery dates. They will even notify you when your package arrives.

USPS Informed DeliveryUPS My ChoiceFedEx Delivery ManagerAmazon Shipment Updates via Text

Have it delivered somewhere else or at another time

Consider having your package delivered to work, a neighbor who will be home or make use of the many pick-up and package locker options offered.

Amazon orders can be delivered to their many locker locations including Whole Foods. FedEx will hold your package for pickup at one of its FedEx Office locations or at Walgreens. Packages sent via UPS can be picked up at a UPS facility, diverted to a UPS Store,

Invite the delivery person in

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, Amazon’s Key Smart Lock Kit allows you to remotely unlock your door so a package can be dropped off inside your home. Or use Amazon’s Key In-Car Delivery, which allows a delivery person to put a package in your back seat or trunk when it’s parked on the street.

Change the delivery date

Have your shipment delayed until a day that you will be home.

Add insurance and require a signature for delivery

While not foolproof, requiring a signature can offer an added level of security to your delivery.

Install security cameras or a doorbell camera

If you have a doorbell camera or an outdoor security camera, use it to your benefit. If an expected package is nowhere to be found, watch the footage to see if the carrier dropped off the package or if someone walked away with it. If you spot theft, report it to your local police department. Or, if you can prove no one ever showed up at your door, the carrier (if you’re the shipper) or shipper (if you’re the recipient) will be forced to refund you.

You can shop for a number of smart doorbells and home security cameras these days. Some send instant alerts through apps, and others simply record footage. Arm yourself with proof of delivery or theft by installing one on your porch.

What to Do If You’re Sure Your Packages Are Gone

File a Police Report

If you seriously suspect something has been stolen from your stoop, call the police. Without witnesses, they won’t be able to do much, but they will take note of the incident. If others in the neighborhood report the same problems, then they’ll be more likely to investigate and find the crooks who did it. Filing a police report can also be useful if you try to make an insurance claim on the missing delivery.

Contact Your Carrier

Every carrier has a different protocol to handle lost and stolen packages. If yours is missing, here’s what you can do:

Report a missing package with UPS | Start your claim with FedEx | Start your claim with USPS | Start your claim with Amazon

Contact the seller

Let the seller know that your package did not arrive and see what remedies they offer.

Amazon’s “Where’s My Stuff?” page offers lots of helpful tips on what to do if your package ends up missing.

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