CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Black Friday and Cyber Monday might have taken a bit of a hit this year, but it hasn’t stopped Americans from shopping online. And buyers aren’t the only ones keeping an eye out for their packages. Porch pirates are, too.
According to a recent study done by SafeWise, more than 210 million packages have been stolen in the U.S. this year. And the trend of stealing packages from peoples’ homes seems to only keep growing.
“The bad news is that this is probably here to stay,” said Sterling Morris of Preventpackagetheft.com. “The good news is we believe package theft is largely preventable.”
Morris noted this time of the year is when porch pirates are prevalent.
“We see a huge spike in traffic around the holidays. This is a busy time for online ordering.”
Morris says there are several ways to keep your packages and home more secure this holiday season and beyond.
Morris said packages are most at-risk from the time they leave the delivery facility to the time they arrive at your doorstep.
“So if you can prevent your package from sitting on your doorstep, unsecured and unattended, you can prevent package theft.”
Dr. Ben Stickle, who worked with SafeWise to conduct the study, also provided some good tips on what people can do to protect themselves from porch pirates. He said the key thing is to make sure your packages are delivered in a place that’s out of plain sight.
“The greatest thing you can do is make sure you get your packages away from the roadway,” Stickle said. “If they can be hidden behind a column or something like that on your porch or placed inside of a secure delivery device … anything to get the package out of sight.”
Morris noted that a lot of his customers are using porch lockboxes to prevent theft.
“A lot of people are installing these delivery boxes where the delivery professional can drop it right into the box and lock it until you get home. And you can pull that box out right from your doorstep inside. So that seems to be a new trend that we’re seeing.”
Video doorbells are becoming an increasingly popular way to protect homes. Morris said this is another way people check on their packages because they can see a live video feed when someone is on their porch. It also allows users to initiate two-way talk.
Morris noted that a lot of his clients use video doorbells such as Ring to stop these porch pirates from stealing their packages. He also said people can reach out to their carrier to tell them where they want packages to be delivered.
Stickle said when a package gets stolen, it typically falls on the retailer.
“The retailer seems to be off to recouping the cost on this so it’s hurting the retailers, but that may end up hurting the customers, as well.”
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