Protect packages from porch pirates

Record Searchlight | Dec 6, 2023

Doorbell cameras are “super helpful” at stopping or catching porch pirates, said Amber Orrey, outreach coordinator at the Mount Shasta Police Department. However, people who get home deliveries — and even those who pick up orders at Amazon lockers or retail stores — should take precautions, she said.

While not a guarantee you won’t be the victim of a theft, you can make it harder for porch pirates to pilfer parcels.

“Check tracking notices. Have more expensive items sent to a locker or schedule a delivery time for when you’re going to be home,” Orrey said.

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips for thwarting package thieves:

  • Don’t leave packages unattended for long periods and schedule deliveries for times you’ll be home.
  • Ship merchandise to a physical store for pick up.
  • Require a signature for delivery if someone is home to sign for it.
  • Use a locker. Some retailers, including, offer secure package-receiving locations. You can access a locker with a key or code.
  • Take precautionary measures, like installing motion-sensitive lights or a door camera. In some cases, this equipment can discourage package thieves.
  • Call the police if you see someone stealing packages from a neighbor.
  • If you’ll be out of town during the holidays, ask a trusted neighbor to check your porch for deliveries daily.

If you ask for a neighbor’s help, give them a signed note with permission to come on your property and take your packages, just in case another neighbor spots them and calls the police.

And dole out some gratitude. Make sure you thank people afterwards and volunteer “to return the favor” when they’re away, according to etiquette specialist Emily Post’s Neighborly Manners guide.


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