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How to Prevent Package Thefts

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January 20, 2016
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How to Prevent Package Thefts

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.

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Mary Kay Buratto
January 21, 2016 at 11:12 PM
I do 90% of my shopping on line. I continually (3-4 times a year) have packages stolen from my front door. Even tho I am retired, I am often gone for all or part of the day. UPS has a 4 hour delivery window right in the middle of the day. FedEX has a 4 hour window and Amazon has a 12 hour delivery window! Then there is USPS, and their delivery times change almost daily. I would have to be home almost all day to receive packages. I don't think there is a way prevent front-door packages from being home all with no bathroom breaks!
Karen Blair
January 22, 2016 at 6:19 PM
I'm also retired and do a lot of my shopping online, but I'm generally home except for 2-4 hrs 1 or 2 days a week. Even so I'm still in danger of package theft because I've learned that most delivery personnel no longer take the couple of seconds required to knock or ring the doorbell even once. My experience has been that UPS is the least likely to alert you - probably 98% of the time; Fed Ex is substantially better - probably only 15% failure; and the post office is carrier dependent. We had a great postal carrier who was very conscientious and always rang the doorbell and waited for you to answer the door. My current carrier never does. Fortunately Amazon notifies me via SMS text, after they have been notified, that delivery has been made, usually within 30 minutes, as does UPS. I don't know if that's true for all of Amazon customers or just Prime members. Also I signed up for UPS Choice which now let's you change delivery for free if you know you won't be home for delivery. I've used that service twice when I was out of town.. I was able to have it rerouted (mid-transit) to a designated UPS location near my home which held my package for up to a week. And last tip: I have a large planting pot on my porch. I placed it next to the door and about a foot out. Everyone has been very good about placing the smaller packages behind the pot which eliminates or obscures the view from the street.
Marsha Jamie Lee
February 2, 2016 at 1:23 PM
A possible solution to this issue is a United States Post Office Box. The USPS will now accept packages addressed to your PO Box using a street address. When you go to inquire about the PO Box at your local post office they will explain this option.
February 23, 2016 at 3:35 PM
My packages are always safe! I have the Vivint doorbell camera and automated doorlock. When a delivery man walks up to my door I get a notification on my smartphone. I can see him and even speak to him through the doorbell camera. I simply tell him I'm going to unlock the door and instruct him to open the door, place the package inside, and close the door. I can control all this through my smartphone and watch him on the doorbell camera as he does this. When he closes the door and walks back to his truck I lock the door again through my phone and I know my package is safe! Simple and convenient!
George Milone
February 29, 2016 at 6:50 AM
Such issues can be solved to an extent by installing a security system in our home. I too had such experiences but after installing a Wireless Home Security System with the help of Canadian Security Professionals We all are really safe. It allows us to see what’s going on at your home even when you’re not there. It sends a video alert when someone comes through the front door.
Security Guard San Jose
March 17, 2016 at 12:23 PM
Hey Peter, You’ve definitely brought to light a very important topic which is usually overlooked. Although your article contained some tips and tricks, but not all of them are feasible. The article would’ve been better, if you would’ve explained how the modern technology can be used. On the other hand, Tony above has given a more definite explanation on how to avail the latest technology and I like his idea a lot.
St Martin
April 11, 2016 at 11:06 PM
Hello! I just would like to give you a hugte thumbs upp for your great info you haqve got here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.
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