Originally published in January, 2018.
Thieves have a new favorite place to shop – your front door. The convenience of online ordering and free shipping offers keep the packages piling up on porches everywhere. Even if you’ve never had a package stolen before, the risk of falling victim to “porch pirates” continues to increase. Here are six reasons to take package protection seriously.
Being at home during the day doesn’t prevent package theft.
Although most people opt to stay at home during the day to receive important packages, a story in a recent USA Today article proves that porch pirates may be there to nab packages within minutes of arrival. Some have been known to follow delivery vehicles closely in order to snatch packages fresh off the truck. The article also shows that delivery personnel don’t always respect even the most polite notes about safe places for packages.
1 in 4 people have fallen victim to package theft, and half know someone who has.
Among Millennials, that victim count jumps to 1 in 3, with 60% reporting that they know of someone who has had packages stolen.
The average value of stolen packages is $140.
A recent survey found that 19% of a nationally representative sample of homeowners experienced package theft over the course of a year. Among those victims, the average loss was 2.6 packages and $140. This monetary value doesn’t take into consideration the personal significance of some items, with items as critical as prescription medications now arriving by mail.
There are an average of 17 incidents per 1,000 people in metro areas.
Among U.S. cities, Austin saw the highest level of thefts over the holidays, while San Francisco had the most package thefts of the year overall. Even more shocking, the report found that New York City was the safest city for packages to be shipped over the holidays, closely followed by St. Louis and Portland.
North Dakota has the highest rate of package theft.
It might come as a surprise, but not all crimes are more prevalent in urban areas! As it turns out, thieves don’t like the feeling of being watched. They’re attracted to lower levels of security in rural areas. Perhaps that’s why citizens of North Dakota continue to report more package thefts than any other state.
Police make arrests in less than 10% of reported theft cases.
We’ve all seen the countless videos of property surveillance cameras catching porch pirates in the act – even of the four-legged variety! However, even with cameras in place, the majority of package thieves get away with their crimes, and those who do get caught usually face only minor charges, unless they can be linked to more than one stolen package.
As e-commerce continues to grow (by 16% in 2018), it’s never been more necessary to take steps to protect your packages. Be sure to check out Smiota’s smart package lockers to learn about one way to ensure thieves don’t walk away with your deliveries.