Porch Pirates – What To Do To Avoid Theft From Your Own Front Porch

Like so many others across the country, Hamiltonians are experiencing a sharp increase in the occurrences of porch thefts. The thieves that commit these crimes, aptly nicknamed Porch Pirates, are cropping up in nearly every community — brazenly taking mail and other packages from others’ homes when the opportunity arises. This trend has unfortunately increased exponentially during the pandemic — one Ontario community notes a 200% increase in these types of crime since March 2020 (link here: https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/porch-thefts-have-increased-200-during-pandemic-police-1.4895848).

Amazon packages appear to be the most common items stolen from neighbourhood porches.

Unlike some comparable courier services, Amazon’s number one delivery company, Intelcom Express, commonly delivers hundreds of packages a day to homes around the city often without requiring a customer signature. Without your signature, the delivery driver will simply leave or hide your package around your front door, leaving them at risk for theft. This risk can be heightened significantly within multi-home units or apartment buildings with thefts perpetrated by strangers and neighbours.

Amazon packages aren’t the only packages being stolen from front porches.

While Amazon’s reputation has increasingly suffered over the last few years because of porch thefts, they’re not the only company dealing with petty theft. All courier companies delivering packages without requiring a signature from recipients or who offer home-delivery instead of a local pick-up location are at risk of the same problem.

Is there a specific time of day, week or year when porch theft is more common?

Anecdotally, porch theft is likely most common during weekdays — when most packages are delivered and when many residents are out of the home for work. Over the course of a year, porch theft rates tend to rise around major holidays or special occasions like Black Friday when “porch pirates” know people are likely shopping more often and for more expensive gifts vs. everyday items.

How can I protect my packages from being taken by thieves?

1. Use a smart package locker.

Recently, package security has become a recognized problem amongst mail and courier services like Canada Post and UPS. In response, they’ve developed Smart Package Locker rentals you can access at local post office locations or in convenient locations like pharmacies or gas station stores. Once your package has been delivered to a locker, you’ll receive a notification that your package is ready for pick up. On arrival, these lockers can only be accessed by you, increasing your transaction’s security immensely throughout shipping.

2. Install home security cameras to prevent theft.

Home security systems are fairly common but with technological advancements, if you don’t have a camera system installed or your system is more than a few years old, now is a great time to install a new camera system. These cameras often act as deterrents to potential thieves however, high-quality camera footage can capture the thief on tape should something be stolen from your home.

Doorbell cameras are also a great option to consider. Once someone rings your doorbell, you’ll receive a notification on your smart phone and even have the ability to speak through the doorbell remotely to give special instructions to your courier upon arrival.

3. Have packages delivered to your workplace instead of your home.

If possible, have your delivery shipped to your workplace or office instead — that way you or a co-worker will always be on hand to receive it rather than leaving your delivery unattended on the porch.

4. Require a signature on delivery.

When filling out your shipment information on your purchase, insist on requiring signature for delivery. When the package is then delivered to your door, if no one is home to sign for the delivery, your package will be taken to a secure post office location until you can pick it up yourself with government ID.

6. While on vacation, put a hold on your package delivers or have a friend check your mail regularly.

If you decide to go on vacation, you will need to put your packages on hold to a secure location until you return. If you do not put your packages on hold, your items could be left on the porch until your return leaving easy targets for theft.

7. Opt-in for confirmation messages for your upcoming packages.

Whenever you place an order online, you should receive an order number or confirmation order along with an estimated delivery timeline. This timeline can help you plan ahead to be present for delivery, have someone pick it up on your behalf or hold delivery if needed.

Need an extra hand to secure your home and deliveries?

If you are looking for the most complete home security and surveillance solutions, then contact TJC Systems at (905) 516-3426 or visit their website http://tjcsystems.ca. With over 25 years’ experience and many satisfied customers, their staff are at the ready to help you with friendly, professional security services.