Videos of porch pirates stealing packages have become popular on social media and the nightly news, which highlight the scope of the problem.
With the holiday shopping season well underway, a new report by SafeWise looks at the best and worst cities when it comes to package theft during this time of year.
The report is a timely one because this is when FedEx, UPS, and the USPS, as well as other carriers, make the highest number of deliveries. In 2017, this amounted to more than two billion packages during the holiday shopping season.
Increasingly, small businesses are responsible for a growing number of packages which are being delivered during the holidays. For business owners who want to keep their ecommerce customers happy, it means finding solutions to get the packages to the rightful owner and not porch pirates.
SafeWise has some solutions businesses and customers can apply to protect the packages, but first let us find out which cities are getting the brunt of this crime wave.
Porch Pirates in 2018
Of the worst metro areas, Texas had three cities in the top 10. These include Austin which took the number one spot, with Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth taking the seventh and eighth spots respectively.
The top five cities include Salt Lake City at second followed by Miami-Fort Lauderdale at third, and Atlanta and Raleigh-Durham taking the fourth and fifth spots.
The remaining three cities in the top ten are Seattle at number six, Tampa-St Petersberg at ninth, and Boston rounding up the top at the 10th spot.
The report also looked at the cities which are least likely to get a package stolen during the holidays. And surprisingly New York is number one in this category. This might have to do with the large number of apartment buildings in the city with doormen.
Next on the list is St. Louis, followed by Portland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Sacramento-Stockton taking the top five spots respectively. The remaining five cities from six to 10 go to Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco- Oakland, Detroit, and San Diego in that order.
When it comes packages being stolen any time of year, San Francisco-Oakland was first followed by Seattle-Tacoma, Baltimore, San Diego, and Washington D.C. taking up the top five spots.
What Can you do to Lower the Risk of Packages Being Stolen?
The advice SafeWise offers is applicable to both businesses and consumers alike. By working together and implementing these recommendations, packages have a higher chance of getting to the intended recipient.
According to SafeWise the first thing both parties should do is use package tracking, add insurance, and require a signature for the delivery. This three-pronged approach will let you know where the package is, reimburse you in case it is stolen, and ensure the package is delivered to an actual person and not left on your porch.
You can also ensure your package will get to you by sending it to your office or asking the sender you will pick up the package from the carrier.
If you can’t do any of these things, SafeWise also recommends installing a security system with cameras to protect your property. This will not ensure your packages will not be stolen, but it will provide irrefutable evidence for the police and insurance companies.
What to do if your Package is Stolen?
You should report the theft of your package just like any other crime. Call the police and insurance company and inform them your package has been stolen.
If you have a video security system, save the recording on your hard drive and in the cloud (if you have that option) as part of your report. If your neighbors have a surveillance system, don’t forget to ask them for a footage also. A different camera angle can provide more information such as license plates, better image of the perpetrators and more.
The data for the report comes from the FBI’s 2017 larceny data in metro areas across the US. This was compared to Google Trends data in those areas with the highest search for missing and stolen package. SafeWise then compared search interest during the holiday season (November 19–January 6) and the rest of the year to determine which metro areas were experiencing the most package theft during the holidays.