Due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down many brick-and-mortar businesses, more people are buying the things they need online than ever before. This has kept e-commerce chains and mail/package delivery drivers very busy; unfortunately, it has also kept porch pirates busy.
In fact, according to one Finder report, nearly one in four Canadians has been the victim of package theft. Furthermore, it is estimated that these thieves have stolen more than $780 million from Canadian porches. Yikes!
Want to avoid falling victim to package theft? There are some steps you can start taking today to beef up security around your porch or mailbox and enjoy some much-needed peace of mind on parcel delivery day.
1. Invest in a Video Doorbell
If you don’t already have a video doorbell installed on your property, now is the time to invest in one! The prices of these doorbells have come down significantly since they were introduced—making them a relatively inexpensive way to increase security on your doorstep.
Simply having a video doorbell within sight of your porch can be a great way to deter porch pirates. And of course, if a thief is still foolish enough to steal a package from your porch, you’ll have the entire incident on video.
2. Request a Delivery Signature
Depending on the delivery service you are using to receive your items, you may be able to formally request a delivery signature. In this case, the person who delivers your package will be required to knock on your door and obtain a signature from you (or another adult in your household) before the package can be delivered. This is a great way to ensure that your package isn’t left on your porch or elsewhere on your property, which prevents it from being stolen!
3. Install a Lockbox
Porch lockboxes are becoming increasingly popular across Canada. Specifically, these devices allow for small parcels to be placed inside a box that is secured on your porch. In order to open the box and retrieve the package, however, you need a special passcode. If you receive a lot of deliveries to your address, you might consider installing one of these lockboxes somewhere on your property.
Just keep in mind that larger parcels may still need to be left on your porch if they do not fit in the dropbox. Alternatively, you can install a larger lockbox—but you may need to provide access instructions to your delivery driver so that he or she can access it.
4. Take Advantage of Amazon Locker Services
Amazon Locker services are available in Canada and are becoming more widespread. If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, consider choosing to have your packages delivered to a nearby Amazon Locker rather than to your porch. Amazon Lockers are often located inside retail stores, and you need a special code (which will be emailed to you upon delivery) to access your parcel. This is an excellent way to keep deliveries off your porch to begin with, thus preventing any porch pirate from stealing from you.
5. Track Your Packages Diligently
If you decide to continue having packages delivered directly to your porch without a lockbox or other added security, the best thing you can do is to simply track your packages and deliveries as closely as you can. When possible, sign up for alerts so that you’ll receive a notification from your carrier when your package is delivered. From there, you can retrieve your package from the porch as quickly as possible.
If you’re not at home when a package is delivered, consider asking a neighbour or other trusted person to pick up your package for safekeeping until you get home.
The Bottom Line on Stopping Package Theft
Unfortunately, as long as people are shopping online and having packages delivered to their doors, there are always going to be porch pirates causing trouble for hard-working Canadians. However, by taking just a few proactive steps, you can deter these thieves and reduce your chances of falling victim to this all-too-common crime.
For more information and tips on protecting your property and belongings, be sure to keep an eye on the Wayfarer Insurance Group blog. We’re constantly updating with new posts about keeping your stuff safe! And remember, you can always contact us with any questions you may have about insurance protection.