Originally published in January 2018.
Porch Pirates have a new favorite place to shop — your front door. The convenience of online ordering and fast, free shipping keep the packages piling up on porches everywhere.
And Americans are ordering more online than ever before. In April and May of 2020, US consumers spent $153 billion online — that’s 7% more than they spent over the 2019 holiday season.
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.
43% of Americans have experienced package theft.
Nearly 60% of Americans said they received deliveries at least once a week in 2020, up 10% from 2019. The number of consumers who’ve experienced package theft also jumped from year to year, growing from 36% to 43%. Of 2020’s victims, 64% have had packages stolen on more than one occasion.
The average value of a stolen package is $136.
Eight out of 10 package theft victims were able to get refunds for their stolen orders. However, 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.
Unfortunately, fewer than half of the package theft incidences during the first months of the pandemic resulted in arrests.
Package theft was more prevalent during the pandemic.
Increased e-commerce orders and contactless delivery protocols left more packages unattended in 2020. Google searches for “stolen package” related keywords peaked in May 2020, reaching nearly twice the number of searches in May 2019. Searches for “package tracking” also gained traction at the start of the pandemic.
“Stolen package” searches were highest in California and New York, both hotspot states for COVID-19 cases.
No type of home is immune from package piracy.
Package thieves showed little preference for certain housing types when committing their crimes. More than 60% of package theft victims lived in condominiums, nearly 50% lived in apartments or townhomes, almost 40% lived in houses, and roughly 35% lived in mobile homes.
Cameras are the most popular theft deterrent.
Half of Americans have purchased surveillance devices such as doorbell cameras and motion lights to prevent theft. Although cameras can provide video evidence of the crime, they don’t stop thieves from taking deliveries in the first place. Many thieves also hide their identities because they know they could be on camera.
Another common prevention method is staying at home — nearly 40% of Americans said they’ve planned to be home when expecting packages. Yet more than 30% haven’t taken any actions whatsoever to prevent package theft.
Less than half of victims report package theft to the police.
Only 41% of US households that experienced package theft within the first three months of the pandemic reported it to the police. Reporting was more common among those who had installed doorbell cameras or security systems (65%) and less common among those who had no such system in place (27%).
E-commerce continues to grow, so it’s never been more important 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 deliveries.