Porch pirates are the modern-day version of Blackbeard and Dread Pirate Roberts…sort of. For those not familiar with the recent trend, porch pirates are a new breed of thieves who steal freshly delivered packages before the intended recipient(s) has a chance to retrieve them.  In other words, porch pirates are essentially a real-life version of the Grinch with a dash of Ebenezer Scrooge added into the mix for good measure. Since porch pirates are a relatively new class of burglars it is important to stay current when it comes to both your personal safety and the well being of your packages too. Here are a few tips on how to not become part of the 25.9 million Americans (roughly 8% of the documented population) who have reported a stolen package.

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Protect Your Packages from Pesky Porch Pirates

Proactive Ways to Protect Your Packages

  • Use package delivery tracking. This service is available through most every parcel delivery service (UPS, FedEx and USPS just to name a few).
  • Add insurance and/or require a signature for delivery
  • Use a package locker – Amazon Lockers or PO Boxes)
  • Consider shipping to an alternative address such as a neighbor who will be home to accept the package or your workplace (if permitted).

Install Security Cameras or a Doorbell Camera

Installing a security camera or a hybrid doorbell camera is also a great, albeit reactive, way to deal with pesky porch pirates. As Brick & Thistle mentions, a video security camera makes it likely that you’ll have footage that can be given to law enforcement to identify a suspect. However, this is not a sure fire method especially when it comes to holding up in a court of law.  A few of the more common porch pirate related issues stemming from security cameras include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Cameras are not turned on
  2. Cameras are not recording
  3. Camera footage does not include a timestamp (timestamp is not adjusted for daylight savings)
  4. Overall image quality is lacking (misrepresentation of colors, too blurry, etc.)

That being said make sure to take a proactive approach and make sure that your security cameras are up to par so that your video evidence will hold up in court in the event you’re ever the victim of a porch pirate raid.

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Porch Pirate Tendencies

Higher Porch Pirate Activity During the Holidays (high to low)

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Salt Lake City, Utah
  3. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  4. Atlanta, Georgia
  5. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  6. Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
  7. Houston, Texas
  8. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  9. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida
  10. Boston, Massachusetts

Lower Porch Pirate Activity During the Holidays (low to high)

  1. New York, New York
  2. St. Louis, Missouri
  3. Portland, Oregon
  4. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
  5. Sacramento-Stockton, California
  6. Washington, DC
  7. Denver, Colorado
  8. San Francisco-Oakland, California
  9. Detroit, Michigan
  10. San Diego, California

Higher Porch Pirate Activity Year Round

  1. San Francisco-Oakland, California
  2. Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
  3. Baltimore, Maryland
  4. San Diego, California
  5. Washington, DC
  6. Los Angeles, California
  7. Portland, Oregon
  8. Salt Lake City, Utah
  9. Austin, Texas
  10. New York, New York

Noteworthy Patterns

  • Texas is a hotbed for porch pirates during the holiday season with three major metro areas making the list (Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth).
  • 50% of the top holiday targets are located in Texas (3) and Florida (2).
  • Only three of the top 10 metro areas for porch pirates during the holiday season are also among the top 10 during the rest of the year.