How To Prevent Porch Pirates


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Online shopping has made it easier for people with active schedules to get the things they need. With just a few clicks on any device, consumers can buy gifts, food or other everyday items from the comfort of their homes. However, with this amount of convenience comes a potential problem: security.

With thousands of packages being left on front porches and doorsteps on a daily basis, criminals are taking advantage of the situation and stealing packages right off the owners’ properties. This unfortunate tactic has become known as porch piracy. These opportunistic thieves gamble that packages may have high priced items in the boxes even though they don’t know what they are stealing.

Who These Porch Pirates Are and How They Operate

Stealing packages off a porch is becoming more common because of the huge increase in the number of goods being delivered during the day. Porch pirates typically target residences where no one is home and the packages are dropped off in the morning or early afternoon, which gives crooks plenty of opportunity to be so bold. Sometimes, thieves do their homework beforehand and watch the block to see which homes are most likely to be empty during the day. It is estimated that 23 million Americans report being victimized this way each year.

Although porch pirates hope to get expensive items, such as electronics or furniture, this type of crime is so low-risk that the thieves don’t mind if they occasionally end up with less expensive items. No matter how big or small the product, any direct delivery to a home is a potential opportunity for porch pirates to strike.


Infographic Provided by Eye Trax

Prevention Methods

If you are concerned about falling prey to these modern thieves of the digital age, there are plenty of preventive steps you can take. One of the simplest is to avoid having anything delivered when you know you will not be home. This could mean requiring a signature for deliveries or having a set delivery window for dropping off the package. You can also request the e-commerce organization to send the package to your workplace. Consider also investing in a storage locker.

Many retailers, such as Amazon, offer delivery to lockers in public places. These allow you to pick up packages at your convenience using a code provided to you. One drawback to these options is that while these steps reduce the risk of theft, they also eliminate many of the conveniences that online shopping provides in the first place.

Another method for derailing porch pirates is adding security measures around your home or apartment. For example, video cameras can notify you via your phone if they detect someone moving around your front door. This will allow you to know when every package has been dropped off, as well as let potential thieves know you’re watching. Motion-activated lights can be a powerful security tool as well because most criminals prefer to work when they believe no one can see.

Don’t let the presence of porch pirates take the convenience away from shopping. Make sure to check out the accompanying infographic below for more information.

Jerry McSorley is the owner of Eye Trax, the leading provider of solar-powered wireless outdoor security cameras. After working many years within the construction industry, McSorley needed a way to monitor and secure his multiple construction sites. Combining his mechanical engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and extensive business owner experience, he invented an innovative surveillance camera system.


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