“So far, by 2022, 14% of Americans have been victims of doorstep pirates — some more than once,” the report added. In two-thirds (67%) of households, “one package was stolen, 22% had two stolen, and 11% had three or more stolen.”
In addition, a third (34%) of Americans know someone who has stolen a package this year, and about 20% know a neighbor who has stolen a package.
“It can be frustrating and confusing for customers when a package is stolen, especially when they’re trying to figure out how to replace the stolen goods,” the C+R study said.
“When asked if they think delivery companies are doing enough to prevent package theft, nearly half of Americans (48%) say no. And about the same percentage thinks that retailers are not doing enough either.”
Virtually all US states penalize this particular form of property theft.
“In Arizona, an individual convicted of stealing packages worth up to $1,000 in value could face a Class 1 fine,” said Bill Herzog, CEO of LionHeart Security Services. “If the package is over $1,000, they could be charged with a felony.”
Other states have enacted stricter laws.
“Texas created a law that made stealing packages from someone’s porch a felony with a penalty of six months to 10 years in prison and a fine ranging from $4,000 to $10,000,” Herzog told TheStreet.
“Michigan has passed a law that makes the first offense of porch piracy a felony with a penalty of up to one year in prison. If caught on a second offense, the pirate is looking at a felony and a jail term of up to five years.”
How Consumers Can Fight Porch Piracy
How can consumers fight back against home package theft? Home security experts advise on these strategies to prevent package theft.
Be quick. If you know a package is expected to be delivered, you should pick it up as soon as possible to reduce the chances of someone stealing it. “That’s why most people (60%) are closely monitoring delivery and 43% are opting for delivery alerts,” the C+R report said.
Be creative. The C+R report also noted that half (51%) of parcel deliverers stay at home when they expect parcels to be delivered.
“Others take various preventive approaches, such as installing a camera doorbell, sending the package to their workplace or a family member’s house, or choosing to pick up their online order at the store,” the study added.
Be friendly. By talking to your neighbors, they know to be wary of suspicious people who may be hanging out and wanting to steal packages, Herzog noted.
Be armed with an Amazon dropbox. If you are a regular Amazon customer, know that the online retail giant will deliver the package in a dedicated Amazon box. “You’ll be given a code to pick up the package,” Herzog said.
Be diligent. Plan parcel delivery for the weekend .
“Look for delivery methods that require a signature, which is a great option for more expensive or valuable items,” says Courtney Klosterman, Hippo’s home insights expert.
“Remove them from your porch as soon as possible and encourage delivery guys to place packages behind a plant, piece of furniture, or other structure on your porch.”
Be quick with law enforcement. If you do become a victim, please contact the police and the delivery company immediately.
“If you have security camera footage, give it to the police,” Herzog added. “Also, ask your neighbors if their cameras picked up images of the thief.”