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Thwarting Porch Pirates: How to Prevent Package Theft

Wilcox-DC-package-delivery-theftWhen it comes to modern conveniences, online shopping ranks high on the list of things we love. However, with modern amenities come modern pains. Up to 31% of Americans have had packages stolen from outside their homes. To combat the problem, online retailing giants have even taken to installing rentable physical lockers designated for package delivery in convenience and grocery stores.

How can you keep your packages safe from theft? You don't have to take a personal day every time there's a package out for delivery. With smart home technology, you can boost the safety of your purchases, and your property as a whole.

How Security Cameras Can – and Can't – Secure Your Packages

When you think of securing the exterior of your home, security cameras are likely the first tool that comes to mind. They can certainly help you identify a perpetrator after the fact and can play a significant role in a neighborhood watch program when shared with local police. However, a security camera is only a deterrent if a thief is aware of its presence. Even some high-powered cameras can be unobtrusive and not easily detected by someone in a hurry to snatch a package. Unless your camera is large and positioned at a prominent angle, a camera alone may not prevent package theft.

Cameras with alarm systems can be a boon. Stealing packages from front porches and doorsteps in broad daylight requires a certain level of courage, but a blaring alarm will send most thieves running. The motion sensors and alarms can do more in protecting your online purchases until you’re able to take them inside.

Some doorbell cameras also send push notifications to your phone of impending delivery, allowing you to communicate with the delivery person remotely via two-way audio. If you can offer a parcel carrier a more secure location to leave a package, a sticky-fingered passerby may not notice them at all.

Package Drop Boxes: Pros and Cons

Installing a package drop box outside your home is a great solution if you receive a high volume of deliveries. There are, however, some pros and cons to consider. Drop boxes aren't ideal when space is at a premium and extra-large packages aren't likely to fit in most boxes.

WiFi-enabled locks designed to open when your package carrier scans the barcode on a package, however, can turn almost anything into a drop box. If you do choose the drop box route, don't forget to set up delivery instructions with parcel carriers. USPS, UPS, and FedEx all make it relatively simple to notify carriers of your drop box via online forms.

If you're concerned about home safety, contact a Wilcox Nest Pro for information about installation of cameras and alarm systems. Wilcox Electric has been serving DC area homeowners for more than 20 years and can help you find security solutions for your packages.