It’s likely that you’ve heard of (or unfortunately, experienced) this burdensome trend – package theft. If you’re lucky enough to not know what package theft is, we’ll fill you in. It’s basically just as it sounds: the act of stealing other people’s delivered packages off their doorstep. The thief doesn’t even have to know what’s in the package itself. They’ll often take what they can get and either keep it themselves or sell it for a profit. While some people just roam the neighborhood and pick up what packages they find, it’s also being discovered that thieves will follow delivery trucks to pick up any boxes left behind on doorsteps. These crimes happen all year round, but instances skyrocket around holidays. The best way to avoid package theft is to be prepared!

Are you prepared to prevent package theft? If you’re wondering how you can safeguard your home, check out our security tips below.

Require a recipient signature.
A major reason packages get stolen is because they are left unattended for hours at a time as recipients are running errands, at work, or out of town. For a small fee, you can choose a shipping option that requires a signature as it’s delivered. If no one is home to sign for the package, the mailer will hold onto it and attempt to re-deliver. In some cases, after a few attempts, the package will be sent to a local, secure mail facility where it can be picked up by the intended recipient. Some locations even offer 24-hour access! It may seem like a hassle to pay a few extra dollars upon checkout, but it’s far less stressful than having hundreds of dollars stolen right off your doorstep!

2. Ask for help from friends and family.
If you can’t be around to receive your delivery as it arrives, it’s worth it to ask a neighbor, family member, or friend to pick it up and keep it safe. Simply let the person know when you’re expecting the package (or let them know if you receive confirmation that it’s been delivered) so they can hold onto it in the meantime, preventing it from falling into the wrong hands.

3. Have important packages delivered elsewhere.
If, like many other Americans, you’re at work for the hours during which the mail is delivered, it might be a safer bet to have things shipped to your workplace (after getting the okay from your employer of course). Furthermore, if you have a neighbor who is home for a good portion of the day, you could even ask if you could have the package delivered to your address and pick it up from their home later.

3. Invest in a home surveillance system.
We saved the most effective for last! Home security cameras are quite possibly the best way to hold a thief accountable, apart from actually being there to witness the crime. Having outdoor security cameras set up by your front door can help police identify the suspect’s face, especially if he/she is a repeat offender. It’s also wise to have a camera facing outward to read any license plates. Your home’s exterior will be monitored 24/7 so that in the event of a theft, you’ll be able to effortlessly look at the footage and have a head start on getting justice. Just click here to read a story about how a home security system helped an Austin man catch his home’s package thief!

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