Between COVID-19 and the holidays fast-approaching, police departments such as the Spokane Washington Police warn that online shopping is on the rise and with that so are porch pirates. Yes, sadly these are thieves who set out specifically to steal packages that are left on your property.
The Spokane Police Department's PIO, Officer Richie Plunkett, said they've already seen in influx in stolen packages. "People are walking by grabbing packages, people are on bikes, and we do have people in cars that are just going around checking every doorstep they have," Plunkett said.
Police are also seeing an increase in people who are spending money on surveillance equipment, which police say is helpful later for identifying the criminals, but not extremely helpful in preventing the package from being stolen. In fact, police have said that the best way to prevent these thieves from taking your packages is to not give them the opportunity, especially during this time of year, when porch pirate reports are at their peak.
To effectively avoid porch pirates, you must first know how they operate and to what lengths they are willing to go to steal packages. A criminal justice study that analyzed porch pirate behaviors and traits found that these thieves do the majority of their dirty work in broad daylight! They preferred medium-sized packages with name-brand labels on the packaging and targeted homes that were closer to roads.
These thieves are not even deterred by things like fences, surveillance cameras, or even locked hanging bags that people sometimes put on their doors to receive packages. In fact, one might think that a bag hanging on a door, even with a coded lock, would do the opposite of keeping packages safe and attract the porch pirate’s attention instead. They need only a tool or two to slice the bag open to gather their stolen treasures. These guys hide in plain sight by not wearing disguises and are not even put off by a car in the driveway. Some are bold enough to follow the delivery driver, stealing the packages shortly after being delivered. Surely if this happened too often it could put a delivery driver out of a job!
Suggestions from the BBB to stop porch pirates
- Install security cameras.
- Don't leave delivered packages unattended.
- Pay attention to online tracking.
- Sign up for delivery alerts.
- Authorize a specific out-of-sight location for the carrier to leave the package.
- Secure shipments with a signature confirmation.
- Invest in a locking mailbox.
If unfortunately you do fall prey to porch theft, the police suggest that having security footage of the criminal can help lead to an arrest as well as perhaps recover your stolen items. Contact our home security professionals at Safe and Vault Store by chat, email, or phone if you need help figuring out the best products to not only deter criminals from your property but also protect packages that are left on your porch.
Package theft is a huge concern in today's world with everyone ordering products online and it shows no sign of slowing down. We have locking mailboxes of all different kinds, sizes and shapes to fit your home and business needs. Shop our entire line of locking mailboxes.
Here are just a few products we suggest to protect your packages from porch pirates