More people are shopping online than ever before. Online shopping sales hit a record high of $791 billion in 2020. In large cities, eCommerce giant Amazon delivers more than one million packages per day.
But the rise in online shopping has led to a surge in so-called “porch pirates.” Forty percent of online shoppers say a package was stolen from them in 2020. Here is what you should do if someone steals a package from your front door.
Try to verify that your package was stolen by checking security camera footage.
Before you contact the seller or local authorities to report a stolen package, you want to make sure someone actually took it. Don’t immediately assume so, even if you receive a ‘Package Delivered’ notification from the parcel carrier and the package is nowhere to be found.
You should look around your porch to see if the package is tucked somewhere out of sight. Delivery drivers may hide packages as a way to prevent theft. Maybe they dropped the package behind a planter box, inside the mailbox, under a chair, or even behind a bush. Check carefully around your front door and porch before considering the package stolen.
If you can’t find the package, review footage captured by your security camera or doorbell camera. Log into your camera and scroll back in time to check archived footage. Don’t have security cameras? Ask your neighbors. They may have one facing your home. If you do find footage of the theft, save the footage for your records.
If you don’t have evidence of the package being stolen, verify that the package was delivered with the carrier. It’s possible that your package was marked delivered even though it is still on the delivery driver’s truck. If you don’t have access to a security camera and aren’t sure where in the world your package is, get in touch with the carrier. They can help determine if your package was delivered or not.
Here is what you should do if your package was stolen.
1. File a police report. As with any theft, you should first file a police report. This way, you have a record of what happened. You can submit security camera footage to the police as evidence. Will the police investigate the theft? Unless your neighborhood is dealing with a recent string of porch piracy, probably not.
2. Contact the seller. Some online retailers will refund your money with little fuss. Amazon, for example, is known for being quick to refund money due to lost or stolen packages. Other companies are not as quick to help. It depends upon the company’s policy. Frustrating as it may be, a stolen package is not the retailer’s fault, and they may not want to provide a refund.
3. File a lost package claim with the shipping company. A claim isn’t required, but it may help you receive a refund from the seller (and in some cases, the seller might require that you file a claim with the shipper first). It helps if you have video proof that your package was indeed stolen. Otherwise, this process can take weeks, as the carrier will likely deem the package lost instead of stolen—meaning they will wait a week or ten days to see if the package shows up. If it does not show, then they will deem the package officially lost so you can go back to the retailer to ask for a refund.
Find your carrier and click the link to file a lost/stolen package claim.
You can prevent package theft by requiring a signature upon delivery and equipping your home with a security camera system and secure lockbox.
One of the best ways to protect your packages is by requiring a signature upon delivery. Most carriers give this option when you are completing the checkout process online. The package will only be delivered if you sign for it. Just know this often means choosing a pricier shipping option.
There are other ways to boost security. Security cameras can help deter theft from happening, especially if the would-be criminal can see them. Placing very visible signs that show you have a security system can also help keep porch pirates off your property.
Another great way to prevent theft is with a designated, secure lockbox. There are now many manufacturers that sell locking package drop boxes that you can leave on your porch.
If you are never around to receive packages, consider signing up for a package receiving service. Major carriers like FedEx and UPS have stores where you can ship a package to so that you can pick it up later.
Package theft is increasing in the United States. If you are a victim, you should file a police report and contact the seller right away. It pays to be vigilant. Use a security camera system to keep an eye on your home and ward off thieves. Make sure to require signatures when you know you will be around to receive the package, or use a lockbox or locker service when you are not.
As always, contact Bay Alarm for all your security-related needs. We are here to help protect your home and everything you care so much about. Get in touch today for a free system estimate!