The end of September marks the transition to the annual holiday season with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s firing off in quick succession. Between now and early January, millions of dollars in consumer goods will be changing hands. It’s no wonder that the holiday season is also porch pirate season.
Anyone who pays attention to the local news knows that porch piracy is a year-round problem. But as home deliveries pick up between October and December, so does porch pirate activity. This suggests that now is the time to start preparing for the 2019 season.
What does preparing entail? First, it starts with understanding what motivates porch pirates. You follow up by implementing key strategies to protect your home and your valuables from those who would seek to steal from you. Thwarting porch piracy is actually easier than you might think.
What Motivate Porch Pirates
Porch pirates get their name from the way they operate. Although some would advocate against using the term, there’s no denying that what these thieves do is eerily similar to what traditional pirates do – except that they don’t use boats or attack people on the water.
A pirate looks for easy targets. He/she strikes quickly and takes whatever is most valuable. The idea is to get in, take what you want, and get out before you are caught. This certainly describes the MO of your average porch pirate. So, what motivates these thieves? Here are just a few possibilities:
- Easy targets
- Low risk
- Fast operation
- Valuable goods.
Here’s the thing: you can steal a package from a porch in mere seconds. If you are careful about the neighborhoods you target, you can have your pick of empty houses that will be unoccupied until the kids return from school and mom and dad get home from work. The simple fact of the matter is that porch piracy is easy to pull off.
What You Can Do
The ease by which people can steal packages off porches might make it seem like there is nothing you can do. But that is not true. There is plenty you can do, according to Salt Lake City’s Vivint. They recommend starting with security cameras.
Thieves have a natural aversion to cameras because they do not want to get caught. If they see a home guarded by cameras recording activity in the driveway, along the street, and directly in front of the door, the chances of them hitting that house are greatly reduced. However, they can always wear masks. So there are other strategies to think of.
You could install a package safe that bolts to the porch or wall. When you purchase something online, you provide the code to the safe for that particular delivery. Then you change the code for your next delivery. It is simple technology that is quite effective.
Another thing you can do is install a video doorbell. Most video doorbells come with on-board audio, meaning you can communicate with people standing on your porch. You can program the doorbell to notify your smartphone as soon as the camera detects motion approaching the door. With your smartphone, you can warn the thief to get away before he or she ever reaches your package.
Controlling Package Delivery
Beyond relying exclusively on technology, you can also schedule your deliveries to coincide with times you know you will be home. For example, let us say you have a membership with a popular online retail site, a membership that guarantees free, overnight delivery on all of your purchases. Since you know you do not work on Saturdays, hold off on your purchases until Friday afternoon. You will be home on Saturday when the delivery arrives.
Another option is to have your packages shipped to another address. Maybe you have a friend or family member who is home at the same time you are working. Ask if you can have your packages shipped to that person’s house. Problem solved.
You can protect yourself against porch piracy just by thinking things through. Think like a criminal and you will be able to thwart anyone who thinks his or her Christmas will be made better by stealing your packages.