Prevent Package Theft

Boxes and packages next to front door during holiday christmas season.

Whether you prefer to shop online or do the shipping yourself, there’s no denying the holidays are one of the most popular times of year for packages delivered right to your door.

Unfortunately, one consequence of this convenience includes theft, since packages left unattended on your doorstep are vulnerable for the taking. According to, 30 percent of Americans have been the victim of package theft.

While there’s no surefire way to make sure no one will steal your goods off your doorstep, these tips can help.

Invest in home security

Systems like smart doorbell cameras can help to deter thieves, possibly encouraging people to think twice about stealing, but if the device does capture someone’s face, you can share it with police. Keep in mind these devices don’t guarantee someone won’t quickly come onto your property with their face covered to take your things.

Ask your neighbors for help

If you know a neighbor is home throughout the day, ask if they wouldn’t mind keeping an eye out for your deliveries, or even signing for your package on your behalf.

Sign up for alerts

Regardless of shipping company, you should be able to sign up to receive tracking updates. This way, you can try to be home or have someone on standby to secure your package when it arrives.

Require a signature 

If you opt to require a signature in exchange for your delivery and miss the delivery person, you may be able to reschedule or pick up your goods from a designated pickup location. Keep in mind that someone could impersonate you and intercept your package on delivery.

Be specific

If possible, schedule deliveries for when you know you’ll be home. You may also be able to leave detailed instructions on where to leave the package, or leave the code to a locked delivery box on your property. Keep in mind that during their busiest season, delivery people may not always follow your instructions.

Consider a package delivery box

 You can set up locked delivery boxes at your home that are accessible with a code that can be changed. You can add that code to your delivery instructions. Depending on where you order from and where you live, there may also be public delivery lockers available, like at your local grocery store. Check with the retailer and delivery service to learn your options.

Pick up in store

Adobe Digital Insights reported that almost 50 percent more people opted to pick up their online purchases in-store in 2018 than the year before. Don’t forget, you can always forgo the online process completely and shop in-store.

 What to do if your package is stolen

Before you report your package stolen, it’s best to verify that you received it. If it was marked as delivered, be sure to look thoroughly for it in case the delivery driver tried to hide it, and always check with neighbors in case someone took it by mistake.

If you do believe your delivery was stolen, contact the retailer, which may offer a replacement or refund. If that doesn’t work, contact the shipping company to see about filing a claim and to find out if you’re entitled to compensation for your package’s loss. You can also check with the company of the credit card you used to see if your purchases are protected against loss or theft.

Always call the police to file a report, which you may need to file a claim. If you have a smart doorbell, the police may also ask for your footage in an effort to help catch the criminals, especially if there have been other thefts in your area.

As a last resort, you can check with your renters or homeowners insurance carrier. Keep in mind that you will need to pay a deductible, which may be more than the value of your lost package, and that adding a claim to your file can potentially increase your premium. Speak with your friends at Apollo Insurance Services for more information.