Protect yourself from package theft

Updated November 26, 2018
Packages on door mat
Online shopping has grown over the past few years and this holiday season will be no exception.  With the convenience of home delivery, more and more consumers are shopping online.  While it is easy to be caught up in the fun of it all, it is important to remember that with increased purchasing comes heightened risk of theft. 

Thieves will be on the prowl throughout the holiday.  Package thefts from door stoops and front porches during the day usually increase between the months of October and January.

Therefore, before you shop online, here are some tips to protect your deliveries from package thieves.

 Pick-up your packages promptly

Encourage family members to pick up packages as soon as possible after they are delivered.  If necessary, ask a trusted neighbor to do it for you.

Ship to another location
If possible, have your packages shipped to another location instead of your home.  If it’s allowed ship packages to your office, or have them shipped to a neighbor who is home during the day.  Many delivery companies also offer to hold your packages at their respective stores, such as FedEx Office or The UPS Store.  Amazon has a similar feature called Amazon Locker, which will store all your Amazon shipments.

Require a signature
While most signature requirements are designated by the sender, many delivery companies will allow you to require a signature for all your deliveries.

Track your package

Ask for a tracking number so you know when your package is delivered.  Track your packages and try to be home at the time of delivery.  If you do not receive your shipment on time, check with the company of origin and confirm the delivery.  If the item was delivered and you did not receive it, report the theft or loss to the original company.

Consider installing security cameras
Install cameras as a deterrent.  Indoor cameras pointing out a window can be just as effective as outdoor cameras.  Also, consider placing a sign indicating that the premise is under surveillance.

Start a Neighborhood Watch group.
There is no better deterrent for criminals than knowing that you and your neighbors are looking out for each other.  If you don’t have a Neighborhood Watch group on your street, organize one.  By looking out for each other’s property and calling in suspicious activity, you and your neighbors can help deter criminal activity.

Don’t let the criminals ruin your holiday season.  If you plan to do some online shopping, make a plan on how to reduce your chance of becoming a victim of package theft.