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Preventing Package Pirates

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2022 | Criminal Defense

It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not referring to the snow falling, or the days getting short. I’m referring to the time of year where packages seem to appear in a constant stream on our doorsteps. Delivery trucks flooding the streets lining our porches with boxes of all shapes and sizes as we fill those last-minute holiday orders. It’s a wonderful time of year where each delivery day is like a mini-holiday as you open that brown box of goodness.

Unfortunately, it can also be a stressful time of year, not only for the delivery companies. According to a Consumer Reports study, 11 percent of Americans had at least one package stolen from their home in the previous year. Among that group, 64 percent had a package stolen at least twice that year!

This is an alarming issue as thieves become more and more brazen in their quest to score some quick cash at the expense of other people’s joy. Luckily there are a few tips that can help prevent losing some boxed booty to these porch pirates.

If You Order from Amazon or Walmart, Consider Granting Inside Access
Amazon Prime members in select areas can sign up for Amazon Key, a service that authorizes your Amazon delivery driver to access your garage and leave packages inside. Walmart also recently started offering its own version of this service called Walmart+ InHome.

Monitor Your Front Porch with a Security Cam or Video Doorbell
This works two-fold, if the cameras are visible thieves are potentially detoured, and if not, it’s easier for police to identify the culprit. Many of these cameras allow remote viewing too so you can monitor them from anywhere.

Give the Delivery Service Special Instructions
Some services let you indicate where to leave your package if you’re not home. You can instruct the driver to leave a package at a specific location, such as a back door, or with a building superintendent. FedEx and UPS also allow you to have deliveries diverted to another address (such as a neighbor’s), placed on hold if you’re on vacation, or rescheduled for different days.

Keep Tabs on Your Packages by Signing Up for Alerts
FedEx, UPS and USPS all offer text, email and/or mobile app alerts so you that you know when a delivery will be made and can adjust your schedule accordingly.

Require a Signature
This way, packages aren’t simply dropped off outside your house. But, of course, you have to be home and available to receive the package.

So, what happens if someone is caught stealing packages?

Package theft isn’t just some matter of inconvenience or disappointment. It is a crime. A crime that is taken extremely seriously. People convicted can face fines and even jail time. Furthermore, because the post is handled by the federal government, mail theft cases can be heard in federal court. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t sound like stealing some kid’s toy is worth 5 years in jail to me. Talk about a real “Grinch” move.

We hope that article helps you to make sure that your online orders reach their final destination safe and sound and that your holidays are merry and bright.

Thomason, Swanson & Zahn