Preventing Parcel Theft by "Porch Pirates"
August 19, 2020
Keeping Parcel Deliveries Safe
By Oscar Villanueva
Managing Director of Security Services & Crisis Preparedness at R3 Continuum
Our current COVID-19 pandemic limitations are keeping us from doing normal brick and mortar shopping for the products we need and love, and online shopping continues to grow, following a trend started long before the pandemic. A Business Insider June 2020 article on US ecommerce mentions an expected growth of 18% this year amid the COVID-19 crisis. This follows a growth of 14.9% in 2019. While this is great news for ecommerce, delivery of these goods via parcel delivery companies continues to pose a challenge with the increasing phenomenon of “porch pirates” or parcel thieves.
Shopping online requires delivery of products via shipping companies, and these deliveries unfortunately come with the growing trend of parcel theft. According to 2,000 consumers involved in research done by C+R research, 36% of online shoppers have reported having a package stolen at least once within the past 12 months, and the average cost to replace a stolen package is $109. The attractiveness of this criminal activity is not expected to end anytime soon, and ways to prevent this illegal activity are essential.
What you need to know to prevent parcel theft
For shipping companies:
- Train delivery personnel on situational awareness
- Encourage delivery personnel to promptly report suspicious activity to law enforcement, including suspicious vehicles following on delivery routes
- Collect stolen package data and do analysis of the areas with the most incidents
- Develop a security plan to minimize package theft
- Encourage customers to report suspicious activity
- Use the shipping company’s tracking capabilities
- Ensure you are aware of delivery times and work to bring your package inside as soon as possible
- If you are not home and unable to retrieve your delivered package promptly, ask a neighbor to do it for you
- Report missing packages as soon as you discover them missing
- Be on the lookout for parcel thieves and report suspicious activities to the police
- Consider coordinating package deliveries for periods of time when you will be home
- Consider renting a PO Box at your local post office
- Consider installing a lockable delivery box
- Consider installing a security camera to monitor package delivery areas
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