Online shopping has become incredibly popular. However, with the rise in package deliveries comes the unfortunate reality of porch pirates – individuals who steal packages from doorsteps.

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According to a report from Security.org, 23 percent of respondents say that they experienced package theft within just three months leading up to March 2022. As the holiday season rolls in and more deliveries, especially gift deliveries, are made, there are eight ways that New Yorkers can fight back against porch pirates.

Use Package Tracking

Many online retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, offer package tracking services. Take advantage of this feature, as it allows you to receive notifications when your package has arrived. Being aware of the delivery status means that you'll be able to grab your package right away, minimizing the chances of it being stolen.

Install a Video Doorbell

A video doorbell provides a visual and audio connection to your doorstep. By using this technology, you can see who is at your door even when you are away. If a porch pirate approaches, you can use the intercom feature to yell out to them and potentially prevent any theft. Also, having video footage can be valuable if you need to file a police report or make an insurance claim.

Set Up Home Security Cameras

Installing home security cameras is an effective deterrent against porch pirates. Go for cameras that have a clear view of your porch and the walkway leading up to your home. Make sure they are strategically positioned to capture any suspicious activity. Consider cameras with full-colored night vision for clear images, even in low-light conditions.

Consider Requiring a Signature

When placing your orders, choose delivery options that require a signature upon receipt. This adds an extra layer of security, as someone will need to be present to sign for the package. If you're not available, a family member or neighbor can sign on your behalf. Some delivery services even offer multiple attempts at delivery before redirecting the package to a nearby store for pickup.

Explore Alternate Delivery Options

Take advantage of alternative delivery options offered by retailers, For example, Amazon offers lockers where you can pick up your package from a secure box at your convenience.

Opt for In-Store Pickup

If possible, choose the option for in-store pickup when placing your online orders. Many retailers allow you to ship items directly to the store, saving you from worrying about porch deliveries. Simply pick up your package from the designated area at the store, or take advantage of curbside pickup services.

Lean On Your Neighbors

Getting to know your neighbors can be beneficial when it comes to package security. If you trust your neighbors, you can ask them to keep an eye out for your packages and hold them until you're able to pick them up.  A strong sense of community can help ensure that everyone looks out for one another's safety.

Make Your Home Security Visible

Displaying signs of a home security system can act as a deterrent to potential thieves. Place visible signs and stickers on your property to indicate that you have a security system in place. Motion-activated lights and an obvious security camera installation can further discourage porch pirates from targeting your home.

While taking these preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of package theft, it's important to report any stolen packages promptly to the sender and local law enforcement. In some cases, the sender may be able to issue a refund or help resolve the situation. Additionally, notifying the police with any available video evidence increases the chances of catching the thief and preventing future thefts.

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