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It can feel like Christmas morning to find Amazon packages on your porch when you return home. However, online shopping comes with risks. These packages could disappear before you receive them.
According to SafeWiseIn 2021, an estimated 210 million packages were lost from American porches. With the rise in online shopping amid the pandemic, that number isn’t expected to go down anytime soon.
Which cities are most likely to see porch pirates? How can you prevent your packages being stolen? Here’s what the experts have to say:
The Top 10 Worst Metro Cities for Package Theft
Between a survey of 1,000 Americans—and looking at both FBI larceny-theft data and Google Trends data—SafeWise found the major cities where package theft runs rampant. These were the top 10 most dangerous metro areas for package theft in 2013:
- Denver, Colorado
- San Francisco, California
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Seattle, Washington
- San Antonio, Texas
- Austin, Texas
- Portland, Oregon
- Greenville, South Carolina
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Hartford, Connecticut
Why is the problem getting worse?
Shopping online is more popular than ever, with nearly four out 10 Americans receiving packages several times per week. SafeWise spoke to Dr. Ben Stickle, a criminal expert and criminal justice expert. He said that the problem is not the time packages spend on the porch. This is especially true since people are returning to work and socializing outside of the home.
“Package theft is a crime of opportunity. The more packages left for longer periods of time on a porch, the more likely they are to be stolen,” Dr. Stickle explained. “While the volume of packages has increased, it’s likely the value of packages has increased as well, making numerous targets even more tempting.”
How to Protect Your Orders
The data shows that package theft can occur even if you have security measures in place. You can take steps to reduce your chance of being ripped off.
To be able to defeat porch pirates, the number one method is to install a doorbell video cameraor a security camera of some sort. This won’t completely stop package theft, but it can reduce the risk. According to statistics, 34% of those who use video have their porch pirates caught on camera.
It’s also a good idea to get to know your delivery people and network with your neighbors so the whole neighborhood can be on alert. There’s also the option of using a parcel lockerUpgrade your mailbox with a secure drop-off option.
If you believe your package was stolen, contact the sender as well as the carrier. If you can prove that your item was stolen, many retailers will replace it. FedEx, UPS and USPS all offer online claims.
Although the retailer and delivery company may no longer be responsible, many sellers or carriers offer partial or full compensation for any loss. So, it doesn’t hurt to contact them to learn your options.
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