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Top 5 Scary Facts About Package Theft and How to Prevent It

Do you know what’s scary? The fact that an estimated 23 million Americans have had a package stolen from their front porch or mailbox1
Tune into your local news network and you’ll surely see video footage of what’s known as “porch pirates”, or package thieves, stealing packages in plain sight off doorsteps across the nation. With 77% of consumers now wanting their online purchases delivered to their home2, and what is poised to be a record year for online holiday shopping on the horizon3, the package theft problem isn’t likely to go away any time soon.
If you want to learn how to  prevent package theft and reduce crime in your community, it may be a good idea for your community to invest in a parcel delivery system such as smart parcel lockers. Read on to see some important package theft statistics, get some package theft prevention strategies, and learn more about the benefits of using a smart parcel locker to effectively prevent package theft by a porch pirate in your community.

Package Theft Statistics

Here are the top five scary facts about package mail theft and how to prevent it:

  1. It’s more common than you think. Porch pirating is a massive issue across the United States, from March to July of this year, 1 in 5 Americans reported a stolen package. And the majority of package theft – 40% – occurs in an apartment building or community. A package theft victim loses an average of $106 to porch piracy, with 30% reporting not receiving any financial compensation for their loss. And, unfortunately, less than half of Americans report that their thief was caught by the police4.
  2. Consumers will go to great lengths to ensure the safe delivery of their packages. According to a 2017 Shorr Packaging Corp. survey, 53% of respondents said they changed their plans so they could be home to receive a package from a delivery person despite not having to sign for it. The survey also revealed that 20% of people will leave work early if they are expecting a delivery5. Enlisting a trusted neighbor can help in some cases, as they are able to monitor for and accept deliveries on your behalf. However, this is not an option for every community or consumer.
  3. Some people avoid online shopping entirely out of fear of package theft. Shorr Packaging’s survey also revealed that 41% of people say they have avoided some purchases from online retailers for fear of porch pirating or package theft. Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS) is a growing way to avoid the threat of porch pirates altogether. BOPIS allows consumers the convenience of online shopping and the flexibility of getting their packages – often from an in-store locker – on their own time.
  4. Package theft peaks during the holiday season. There’s no denying that the holiday season brings a massive influx of deliveries, and thereby a correlating increase in package theft. In fact, apartment communities could see as many as 486 package deliveries per week during the holiday season6. This is important for property managers to be aware of as the number of packages they receive typically increases from an average of 150 packages per week to 270 packages per week during the holidays – an 81 percent increase even during “normal” times7.
  5. Neighborhood watches and security cameras don’t help. While it would be nice to think that having a neighborhood watch and/or a security camera on your front porch would deter suspicious activity and holiday package theft, the sad reality is that this just isn’t the case. A doorbell camera or security camera can serve as a partial deterrent for porch pirates but rarely provide leads for authorities when footage is handed over to law enforcement.

Smart parcel lockers: the best tool for package theft prevention

If you are wondering how to avoid package theft, smart lockers are the answer. Investing in a parcel locker is the best apartment solution for communities interested in preventing package theft. Parcel lockers are electronic smart lockers that can accept deliveries, provide delivery alerts for recipients, and allow for easy, contact-free, and self-service pick-up around the clock, making them a secure solution for both residents and multifamily community managers alike.
Nobody, property manager or community resident, wants to deal with lost or stolen packages, especially during the holidays. Unfortunately, these things sometimes happen and, as a rule of thumb, a seller is responsible for a delivery until it reaches the buyer and the delivery company lists the package as “delivered” or “notice left.”
Smart home lockers offer peace of mind to all parties by ensuring the safe delivery of packages and online orders. Consumers are able to receive what they ordered securely and at their convenience, retailers don’t have to worry about replacing or refunding missing items, and property managers no longer need to worry about liability for packages stolen on or around the community. 
Today’s parcel lockers combine modern software and hardware technologies to enable a smooth package delivery process for delivery drivers, who can interact with the lockers with their existing handheld devices to assign a delivery to the appropriately-sized locker and quickly confirm delivery with their respective delivery company. A secure access code is then automatically texted or emailed to the recipient, who can enter it into the locker kiosk to open the appropriate door and retrieve their package whenever they want – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It’s nearly impossible to have complete security when a package is delivered right to your doorstep. The sad truth is that a thief can snatch it at any moment, leaving you without your package and in some cases, no way to get a refund. However, when using a parcel delivery system like a smart parcel locker, you can rest easy knowing that your deliveries will be safe and out of harm’s way.

Preventing package theft with smart parcel lockers from Parcel Pending

Parcel Pending offers a wide range of apartment solutions that ensure the simple and secure delivery and retrieval of packages and online orders. Our electronic lockers help property managers to enhance their residents’ overall experience, save valuable staff time, drive resident retention, and, most importantly, prevent package theft.
Additional benefits include:

  • Contact-Free Pick-Up: Scan the barcode in the delivery notification or push a button in the mobile app
  • Efficient: Streamlines delivery process; flexible solutions reduce space needed to accept deliveries
  • Advanced: Flexible API allows for seamless integration with property management software systems
  • Weatherproof: Durable lockers protect packages from sun, rain, wind, and snow
  • Accessible: Multi-sized lockers accept most package sizes; ADA compliance supports any user
  • Versatile: Multiple locker sizes to accept most packages
  • Mobile-Friendly: Receive delivery alerts, manage packages, and retrieve deliveries with your smartphone
  • Customizable: Custom configurations, color options, or wraps to match property aesthetics or branding

We know that package theft can be scary, but community managers can rest assured that parcel lockers will help to fight off the trend of porch pirates.
Parcel Pending can help make receiving those special holiday deliveries safer and more secure for residents without sacrificing convenience. To learn more about our multifamily smart package locker solutions, click here.

  1. DiUlio, Nick. Insurance Quotes. Worst holiday hazards – from ‘porch pirates’ to tree fires – and how to avoid them. (2015, December 2). https://www.insurancequotes.com/home/holiday-hazards-120215.
  2. Accenture, “Most U.S. Shoppers Want Retailers to Close on Thanksgiving Day, Accenture Survey Reveals,” Available at: https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/most-us-shoppers-want-retailers-to-close-on-thanksgiving-day-accenture-survey-reveals.htm
  3. CNBC, “Holiday spending will hinge on how much the rich splurge and the poor cut back, Deloitte says,” Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/15/deloitte-estimates-2020-holiday-retail-sales-will-rise-1-to-1point5percent-.html#:~:text=Deloitte%20is%20expecting%20holiday%20e,with%20sales%20reaching%20%24145%20billion.
  4. ValuePenguin.com. (2020, July 9). Survey Finds 1 in 5 Americans Were Victims of Porch Pirates Since the Start of COVID-19 Stay-Home Orders [Press Release]. Retrieved from: https://www.prnewswire.com/news/valuepenguin.com/.
  5. Shorr Packaging Corporation. The 2017 Package Theft Report: Porch Pirates, Purchase Habits, and Privacy. (2017). https://www.shorr.com/packaging-news/2017-05/2017-package-theft-report-porch-pirates-purchase-habits-and-privacy.
  6. Parcel Pending. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Prime Day – Post-Pandemic Holiday Shopping Expected to Result in Record Package Volume. (2020, September 4). https://www.parcelpending.com/blog/black-friday-cyber-monday-prime-day-post-pandemic-holiday-shopping-expected-to-result-in-record-package-volume/.
  7. National Multifamily Housing Council. (2018, November 14). Special Delivery: 2018 NHMC/Kingsley Package Delivery Report [Press release]. Retrieved from: https://www.nmhc.org/news/


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