3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Packages from "Porch Pirates"
Safeguarding your front porch from package theft is particularly important as deliveries ramp up during the holiday season.
As the popularity of online shopping has skyrocketed in recent years, the unfortunate side effect of "porch pirates" has also been on the rise. These thefts who swipe deliveries off of front porches aren't savvier than you though — read on for our three favorite ways to prevent package theft.
1. Choose the "signature required" option when ordering things online.
Call us old-fashioned, but we're fans of receiving our packages directly from the person who is delivering them. Of course, we realize this option isn't always feasible with work and school schedules, or when you're traveling or ordering deliveries for second homes, but it's a surefire way to see that you intercept your package without a window for theft to occur. Worth noting: UPS MyChoice members have the option to "redirect [your] package to another location where someone can sign on your behalf," so if you have a trusted nearby neighbor or family member down the street who can sign for your package, this might be a great option.
If you have a neighbor or local friend who is at home during work hours, consider asking if they'd be open to you shipping the occasional high-value package their way. (Buttering them up with a platter of cookies should help with the ask.)
2. Buy a Porch Pirate bag.
Thankfully, there is a slew of innovations to help prevent porch theft, and the Porch Pirate bag is one of our favorites — and one of the more affordable options at only $34.95. According to its Amazon description, "the Porch Pirate Bag was designed to deter thieves who have stolen over 26 million packages from American homes and businesses." The 30 x 40-inch pouch has plenty of room for a large package or several smaller ones and locks securely to a front door handle, porch post, or any sturdy item you choose in your delivery drop-off area. Of course, there are ways for people to cut open the bag, but all the elbow grease would increase their chance of getting caught and the mere presence of the bag may deter would-be thieves. When your Porch Pirate bag first arrives, be sure to tell any delivery personnel about it so they know to use it and to lock it up after delivery.
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3. Or buy "Package Guard."
At $89, it's certainly more of an investment than the Porch Pirate bag, but the tech-savvy theft-protection it provides could be well worth it. As Family Handyman explains, "this Frisbee-like device is a virtual security guard. Connect it to your WiFi and position it on your doorstep, instructing delivery people to place packages on top of it. If a would-be porch pirate attempts to steal the package or the Package Guard device itself, a loud internal siren will be activated." The siren noise is deactivated via the Package Guard app and you can disable the alarm right before you get to your porch and retrieve your package. The Package Guard app also alerts you and those you entrust to your "safe circle" when packages are delivered or removed. Currently only available for iOs devices, you can buy Package Guard here.
What's your tried-and-true way to guard against Porch Pirates?