6 Smart Ways to Stop Porch Pirates and Keep Your Package Deliveries Safe

Nearly 1.7 million packages are stolen every day—but yours don't have to be among them.

It's happened to nearly everyone—you get the notification that your package arrived, but when you get home, your doorstep is bare. That's because package theft happens at a pretty significant rate—researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute say that 1.7 million packages are stolen per day, at a cost of nearly $9 billion per year.

And many times, the porch pirates get away with it, even if they're caught on camera—it's a low-level crime that often doesn't get the attention of police.

To help reduce the chances that your package disappears on you, try these tips that'll go a long way toward thwarting the porch pirates.

01 of 06

Have important packages delivered where someone will be

This can be the easiest solution, if you're back at the office, or if you have a friend or neighbor who's home during the day. That'll ensure that the package is brought inside promptly and not left out to entice a would-be thief.

You can also rent lockers at places like the UPS Store or Amazon Locker locations, where the packages are safely stashed until you can swing by to pick them up.

02 of 06

Track and trace important packages

You may not be too broken up if someone nabs a package of dog treats, but if you're having higher-ticket items delivered, you might be a little more ticked off if they disappear.

It's easy to sign up for notifications from Fed Ex, UPS, and USPS, so you can get texts as your packages progress. When they arrive, you can let a neighbor know to take them in, or hurry home to bring them inside.

(More time on your porch equals more opportunity for it to disappear.)

03 of 06

Have delivery people put them somewhere safer

You can leave a note asking your delivery people to drop your packages over your fence, take them to your backyard, or otherwise place them out of sight. (Of course, some delivery people may not notice or follow your request.)

If you're mostly ordering from Amazon, you can sign up for Amazon Key, which lets you give the delivery people access to put packages inside the garage, while allowing you to monitor what happens via video.

04 of 06

Get a package safe

There are several options that'll help protect your packages from theft, from basic bag-like bins that attach to your door and allow your delivery people to lock in your goodies, to full-on package protection structures that hold your deliveries and protect them from the weather.

05 of 06

Install security cameras and video doorbells

Security cameras and video doorbells can sometimes be a deterrent (though we've all seen enough porch pirate videos out there to know that it won't stop the most determined thieves).

Another benefit of a Ring cam or doorbell: You'll probably know exactly when it's been delivered, so you can go get your package.

06 of 06

Pick it up at the store

If you're a regular porch pirate target, it might be time to find a middle ground: In-store (or parking-lot) pickup lets you still avoid the holiday shopping crowds and lines—and you can usually get your stuff within a few hours of ordering.

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