Sheriff Jay Koon

More of us are shopping online than ever before. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales grew nine times faster than traditional in-store sales over the previous two decades, and that rate of growth continues.

Making purchases online might be your preferred way to handle your Christmas shopping, but having packages stolen from your porch should not be a part of your holiday plans.

In recent years, we’ve started calling those who steal packages from doorsteps “porch pirates.” The majority of American households have packages delivered on a regular basis, so the opportunities for porch pirates to strike are plentiful.

Taking these three steps will go a long way toward guarding your house against porch pirates.

  1. Schedule deliveries during a window of time you know you will be home. Most online retailers and some shipping companies offer a feature that enables you to select a specific date and time range when your package will be delivered. Choose a date and time when you know you’ll be able to keep a close eye on your doorstep for that important package.
  2. Send your packages to your work address. This is an easy one. If the boss will let you receive personal packages, and your place of employment can receive and hold packages for you, problem solved. This guarantees there’s always someone available to sign for valuable items and a safe, climate-controlled location to store your deliveries.
  3. Send your packages to a friend. If you have trustworthy friends or family who you know will be home, just use their address. At the very least, you can ask them to keep an eye out for your boxes and scoop them up for you if they see them before you.

The theft of a package from a doorstep is an old-fashioned crime of opportunity. The porch pirates grab your stuff, quite simply, because it’s there and they can be on their way in a matter of seconds.

Taking these steps reduces those opportunities. Don’t let thieves ruin the customer experience, or the gifting experience, by making it easy to steal your packages.