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Tips, tricks to avoid porch pirates stealing your packages

Experts share how you can avoid this from happening to you.

MATTHEWS, N.C. — As more consumers shop online, that means more packages are being left on doorsteps and porches across the country. But buyers aren't the only people looking out for those purchases, so are porch pirates.

A survey by Insurance Quotes found 30% of Americans say they have had a package stolen from their porch this year. That’s up from 18% in 2020.

“The packages are just big, juicy targets for the pirates to come by and see," senior writer and analyst with Insurance Quotes Michael Giusti said.

Giusti noted this is the time of year when porch pirates are prevalent. 

“The more packages that are on the porch, the more opportunity there is for them to be stolen," Giusti said. "As Christmas presents start showing up,  that's definitely the danger zone.”

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Matthews Police Department public information officer Tim Aycock shared some tips on how people can protect themselves against porch pirates. The key is being diligent.

“Have a trusted family member or even a neighbor to get those packages for you," Aycock suggested. 

Aycock also advised people to try to schedule the delivery to a time when they will be home. Or, Amazon offers the ability to get packages delivered to Amazon lockers that only you can access, which minimizes the threat of porch piracy. The company also has a program where the delivery driver can drop it off in your garage.

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Even something as simple as having plants at the front door can help, Giusti mentioned.

“I know on my front porch, I've got some nice big planter pots for some flowers," Giusti shared. "Delivery drivers love putting it behind the planter. So, the more obstacles you make possible, the better off it's going to work.”

However, despite due diligence, if a theft still occurs, reach out to the carrier first.

“I had a package that was reported delivered to me, and the carrier swore they delivered it, And they said sent me the proof of delivery, and it had a picture," Giusti said. "And I recognized my neighbor's doormat. And so I went next door, and there was my package. So you know, they sometimes get it to the wrong place.”

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In the event none of the neighbors have the package either, report the stolen package to police, but Giusti admitted the odds of a person getting their package recovered are "slim."

If a high-dollar item is on the way, some homeowners insurance policies allow clients to claim it on their policy, but that will only be covered after a deductible.

Contact Vanessa Ruffes at vruffes@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.