5 Tips to Effectively Keep Porch Pirates Away from Your House

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Porch piracy is becoming a major problem for many online consumers across the country. In 2017 25.9 million Americans had a package stolen from their porch. 

According to a recent survey from 2020, 54% of respondents said they had multiple packages stolen in the last 12 months. During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in porch piracy due to higher rates of online shopping.

There are several things you can do to protect yourself from porch privacy. The easiest way to prevent porch piracy is to have packages delivered to a different drop-off location than your home, such as your office or Amazon Hub location. Also, you can improve the security of your home with cameras and light sensors. 

Porch pirate shots taken in Moreno Valley, California in September of 2021.

How to Keep Porch Pirates Away

Schedule Drop-Offs to Another Location

A simple solution to ensure your packages are safe is to have them delivered somewhere other than your home. You can have the boxes delivered where you spend most of your time during the week.

For example, some people have their packages delivered to their workplace rather than their home. This way, the package isn’t sitting on your porch for an extended period. You can also have packages delivered to a P.O. Box, FedEx or UPS location, and Amazon Hub delivery location. 

UPS My Choice allows you to set any location, customize delivery notifications, and reroute the package if needed. Also, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has a service online called Package Intercept, which allows you to reroute a package that hasn’t been delivered.

Request That Deliveries Require Signature

A great way of avoiding porch pirates is to require a signature for packages. By doing this, you make sure only to receive packages when you are there. Another option you have with most delivery services is to customize delivery notifications.

Amazon has no signature requirement policy, although sellers can request signature confirmation for packages above a specific amount. With UPS and FedEx, customers can request a signature confirmation on their online account. You can also do the same USPS, but you have to do it ahead of time.

Package Locker Boxes

When thinking about how to stop porch pirates, consider using a package lockbox. Some models have locks or codes while others don’t, but even non-lock models can provide concealment for your packages. You can place these right by your mailbox or on your front porch.

Models with locks usually have a slot for dropping off packages, but you need a key or code to retrieve them. Most models aren’t big enough for large packages, but they can be useful with small and expensive deliveries, such as electronics or jewelry. You can also find models that allow couriers to place the package inside the box, which locks as soon as the lid is closed. You should also make sure that the box is attached in some way to the wall or floor.

Get an Amazon Key or Amazon Locker

Another excellent way of avoiding porch pirates for Amazon customers is to use an Amazon locker. There are lockers at all their locations across the US. There’s no fee for this service, and when the package is ready, you’ll get a passcode to help you retrieve it.

Amazon has another service that can help you protect your packages. Prime members can have packages delivered inside their home with a keyless entry system. The Amazon delivery person has an access code connected to an Amazon Smart Lock installed on your door. This allows the courier to open the door with the code and leave the package inside your home. A lot of people aren’t comfortable with this; however, the Smart Lock comes with surveillance cameras so you can monitor the courier’s activity.

Request Nondescript Packaging

You can ask senders or sellers to use a plain box. Sometimes you can do this through the gift shipping option, ensuring that the packaging does not reveal the brand. This is especially important when buying expensive items online. A package with an expensive brand name on it can attract porch pirates quickly.

Porch pirate shots taken in Moreno Valley, California in September of 2021.

Improve the Security of Your Home

One of the most effective ways of keeping porch pirates away from your home is improving the overall security of your home with cameras or motion sensor lights. Porch pirates don’t want to be caught on camera, although many wear hoodies or hats to remain anonymous. Still, cameras or lights can help deter thieves. 

  1. Motion Sensor Porch Lights. Installing motion sensor lights is a practical and low-cost way of keeping porch pirates away from your home. These lights automatically turn on when they sense nearby movement, creating the impression that you are there. 
  2. Install a Security Camera. If you are still wondering how to stop porch pirates, a camera is an excellent security tool. Any thief who sees a camera on your porch will think twice before approaching the house. You can share the footage with your neighbors and local community, using the power of technology and social media to catch these package thieves. 
  3. Keep the Area Around Your Front Porch Visible. A security tip police and other experts always mention is improving the visibility of your porch. You can still have plants on your porch to hide packages, but the porch should be visible and clear from the street. Burglars, thieves, and porch pirates look for houses with low visibility from the street. Fences, bushes, or trees blocking the view from nearby houses serve them as cover while perpetrating the theft. Take out all objects or items that block the view of your front porch. 
  4. Home Security Window and Yard Signs. Security signs on your window and yard are an effective way of scaring off thieves. If you are saving for a camera, consider using signs as a temporary measure in the meantime. Thieves don’t know if they are real or fake, and the signs can act as a deterrent.

What to Do if Your Package Has Been Stolen

If a package has been stolen, there’s a couple of things you can do. Check if the package has been delivered on the online account of your delivery company. If it’s marked as delivered, check your camera footage to see what happened. 

If you see that someone stole your package, contact the local police with the non-emergency number, and they might be able to help you. Most retailers have policies on lost or stolen packages. Contact them to see if you can get a refund.

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