Porch Pirate Prevention

David Reynolds and Sarah Roach

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In recent years 36% of Americans have reported package theft at least once, according to crresearch.com. Of that percentage, 44% have had packages stolen from them more than once. In a poll of 35 students, 14.3% have admitted to having packages stolen. Package theft has been more and more of a problem since ordering packages have become more commonplace due to popular websites. 

Every year citizens catch their packages being stolen on camera. Katie Reyes, a Madison resident, posted a video on Nextdoor of a package theft at her in-laws and had this to say about it, “This is so sad and violating. She [the thief] left an empty box at the door and took all the packages.” The video featured a woman walking up to their door with a box of her own. She placed down the decoy package and took the actual ones from the porch.

Residents can deter package theft in both cheap and expensive ways. Cheap methods include asking a trusted person to watch for the package, sending it to a PO box, tracking the package, and having it delivered with instructions. A newer method is sending the packages to Whole Foods and pick it up from there, which can actually be a cheaper option. For expensive methods, there are door cameras and buying a BoxLock, a lock that scans the barcode on a package and unlocks. Students agreed that the camera option, a Ring system, which is a camera that replaces your doorbell, was a great deterrent.

Brent Patterson from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office posted a statement on Nextdoor about package theft. He said, “The Madison County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind residents to be vigilant this holiday season as packages begin to arrive on our doorsteps.” He gave out tips on what to do about it. Some of the tips are to “keep each other updated about recent package theft activity.” He also stressed that it’s important to note that Nextdoor is not a replacement for 911. “We always encourage members to report crimes directly to local law enforcement.”