Deter Porch Pirates

Porch Pirate image

Whether it's Christmas shopping or buying a new bath mat, having a delivery made to your front porch can be a temptation for thieves. Criminals are on the lookout for unattended packages and are willing to gamble that there are treasures that can be resold in the boxes.

There are steps you can take to reduce the threat of porch piracy:

1. Provide delivery instructions

When placing an order, most companies accept delivery instructions such as placing the delivery at a side entrance or behind a trash cart. Keeping deliveries out of sight is a good start to avoiding porch pirates.

2. Require a signature

In most cases, delivery drivers simply leave packages on porches or at front doors. But that's not the only option. Most companies also give the option to require signature on delivery. In that case, the driver can't leave the package unless you're there to sign. This strategy can be inconvenient if you're not often home during the day, and a few missed deliveries can lead to packages being returned to the sender. But for a valuable package, it might be worth waiting to ensure it's not sitting unattended on your porch.

3. Have packages delivered to your workplace or Smart Parcel Locker 

If your workplace permits the practice, considering having online purchases delivered there. Amazon was among the first companies to offer a delivery option called Amazon Locker. The company has lockers at various retail businesses and, rather than delivering a package to your home, will deliver it to a conveniently located locker. You'll receive a notification when your package is delivered. When you get to the locker, use the code sent to you, to open the locker. No one can get the package without your code, so you know it's safe until you can pick it up.

4. Follow delivery tracking and request delivery alert 

Every major delivery company gives updates on when a given package will arrive. In most cases, you can track its progress and see when it's been placed on the truck for delivery. Finally, the tracking will be updated when your package has been delivered. The simplest way to avoid porch pirates is to use this tracking information to retrieve your package once it's delivered.

5. Consider a Porch Pirate Bag or Lockbox

This isn't the most cost-effective method to prevent porch pirates, but it may be an option for valuable items you're expecting. The box or bag is secured to the porch and the courier simply places your delivery inside and locks the access point.

6. Ask a neighbor to collect packages

Have a trustworthy neighbor? Share your tracking information with them and ask if they will pick up your package(s) after delivery. The less time packages spend unattended, the less opportunity porch pirates will have to act.

7. Video doorbell or security camera

Video doorbells and cameras are becoming commonplace and are more affordable than ever. Not only can you watch video of deliveries, but many systems allow you to interact vocally with anyone at your front door. It doesn't hurt to advertise that feature either. Knowing a home has video security may be enough to discourage a would be porch pirate.