Online shopping has changed the way people shop all across the country. It’s just too easy to push a button from the comfort of your home instead of wandering aisles of box stores searching for what you need. With a swipe or a click, your items are purchased and on their way while you sit on your sofa with a cold beverage. Everything from pet food to pajamas can be purchased online, preventing you from ever having to step inside a brick and mortar retailer again.
But with all modern conveniences, come drawbacks. And the risk of package theft now is very real.
According to SafeWise.com, about 26 million packages were stolen from doorsteps in 2017 alone. And C + R Research reports that 36% of people have reported having a package stolen at least once. The reasons for these numbers are fairly obvious: a package sitting on the stoop is easy pickings for a “porch pirate,” especially if your house is visible from the street.
Here are things to do if you do get a package snatched and some surefire ways to prevent it:
File a Report
If your package is swiped, the chances of finding the person who did are slim. (Unfortunately.) But by calling the police and filing a report, there’s a record of what happened making it more likely police will patrol the area. It’s also helpful if you need to file an insurance claim to have the incident documented.
Let the Sender Know
The sender of the package needs to be notified as well. Most places, like Amazon and Zappos, have a no-questions-asked policy and will issue a refund if you let them know the package was stolen. Amazon also handles all details with third-parties so you won’t have to get involved. Amazon offers a service called Smart Lock Kit, which allows the delivery person to leave the package inside your home. (This isn’t something everyone would be comfortable with, but it’s an option you can explore.)
Contact the Shipper
FedEx, UPS, and USPS all have different policies regarding lost or stolen packages — ranging from easy to difficult. FedEx makes it fairly easy to file lost package claims, while UPS has different policies for domestic and international shipping. USPS is probably the most challenging to work with since their protocol for how to handle stolen packages isn’t clear.
Form a Neighborhood Watch
The best defense against these jerks is to have eyes on them. Form a network of neighbors and let them know to be on the lookout for delivery trucks so they can be aware of activity if you’re not home. Burglars are less likely to canvas areas with actively observant neighbors. Encourage neighbors to introduce themselves to strangers wandering the street to let them know they’re seen.
The best defense...make it harder for thieves to be thieves
Once a package is stolen, it’s gone, and you’re left to deal with the aftermath. The best strategy is always a proactive one. Place a large chest or locker by the front door with a note for delivery drivers to place packages inside. That way, it’s one more step for a burglar to encounter and the boxes or bags will be out of visible sight. You could even place a lockbox on it and indicate the code in the shipping notes as an extra measure of protection.
Guardline’s fully customizable alert system allows you to set up to 16 sensors around your property that delivers a ringtone whenever someone comes onto your property. By placing a sensor at the end of your driveway, you’ll be notified before a delivery driver — or potential thief — ever reaches your door. Check out our most popular driveway alarms and essential add-ons for additional safety.
Have any questions about our products? Our dedicated American-based support is ready to help you. Reach out any time.
Until next time, be safe…