Protect Your Packages from Porch Pirates

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Do you realize how easy it is for a thief to nonchalantly traipse up to your front stoop, remove the package that’s sitting there, and bring it to his nearby parked car without anybody noticing? At night time, this is even easier and less risky.

Professional thieves have been known to allot a few hours solely for the purpose of driving around the city, knowing that sooner or later, they will spot a parcel delivery truck.

They will then follow the truck to see where the driver will make the next package delivery. They’ll then sit outside in their car to see if anyone at the house notices the delivery or responds to the doorbell. After the driver leaves, and after some time has passed, the thief will conclude that nobody is home and will steal the package.

Sometimes crooks will drive around neighborhoods, not following any trucks, just to see if there are any packages sitting by doors.

The package may contain something worthless to the thief, but often, it contains something he can resell or use himself.

How to Protect Your Deliveries

  • Make sure to get the tracking number for all deliveries.

  • Require a signature with your delivery, even if that means you may miss the first few attempts.

  • Take that one step further: Require that the delivery person first ask you your name, rather than say, “Are you so-and-so?” There’s the case of the delivery person who went to the wrong apartment number in a building and asked the woman who answered, “Are you so-and-so?” She said yes, signed, and took the item—a pricey food processor that was meant for a neighbor.

  • If you can’t arrange to be home during the delivery, the service can leave your package at a local shipping center.

  • If that’s not an option, ask the service to leave the package somewhere on your property where a roving thief won’t spot it.

  • Another option (depending on where you live) is for the delivery to be left at your condo or apartment building’s office.

  • A very visible surveillance camera, along with the security company’s sign near your door, will likely deter theft.

  • The bottom line is to avoid having packages left at your door, and this includes any packages you yourself leave for someone to pick up.

  • Sending a package? Insure it.

  • See if the delivery service will send an e-mail or text to the recipient right before the package’s arrival. UPS offers this option.

  • Try to get your mail as soon as possible after delivery, every day. Prior to leaving town, put your mail on a vacation hold.

  • Never leave checks in your mailbox. Deposit them in a postal collection box.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Original post: