The holidays have come and gone: only a few discarded trees still linger on the curb in our Washington, DC neighborhood. But while many of us may still savor memories of family gatherings and thoughtful gifts, there is one unfortunate aspect of the holiday season that remains an issue throughout the year: door package theft.
Although a problem throughout the year, door package thefts spike during the holidays: that's because as shipments increase dramatically, more of those brown cardboard boxes end up on our doorsteps – until we can retrieve them. And that’s the problem, since there are plenty of package pilferers who are ready to lift those gifts right off your front or back porch. Some of these thieves are even known to follow delivery vehicles (UPS, USPS, and FedEx), watching for an opportunity to strike.
Here's another interesting fact I just learned: the average value of a package left at your door is $28. However, leading up the holidays, the value of that average package increases to $124, more than four times higher than the rest of the year. Here's a news video that reveals this and other stats regarding the holiday package theft problem – and it includes some helpful tips.
The best way to approach door package theft is to avoid it in the first place. Advice from the experts includes the following:
- Have packages shipped to you at work, if that is possible. Or, perhaps you have a friend or neighbor who can accept deliveries during the day.
- Track your packages as they make their way to your home. That way, you'll know when to expect them, and can plan accordingly.
- Require a signature on all deliveries. While this solution is less convenient, you won't worry about any packages disappearing.
- Install cameras as a deterrent: indoor cameras pointing out a window can be just as effective as outdoor cameras. And consider placing a sign indicating that the premise is under surveillance – perhaps just during the holidays. These signs can be subtle, but still make the point.
These suggestions are actually beneficial throughout the year, so don't think of door package theft as just a holiday phenomenon. We've had a number of Frontpoint customers install cameras that captured package thieves in the act – in more than case, it was (sadly) a neighbor who was guilty. And believe me, many police department love camera footage when they are trying to solve a case, and remove a perpetrator from the streets.
Frontpoint cares about your safety and peace of mind – after all, protecting homes, families and property is our highest priority. We'll keep on sharing industry news as it occurs: it's our goal to be your resource for crime statistics, burglar behaviors, and the latest technologies to thwart intruders. And we wish all of you a safe and security 2016.