You scoured the internet for holiday deals and now you're waiting for the gifts to show up at your door...
Unbeknownst to you, pirates are on the prowl. Not the buccaneers of yore, but porch pirates, waiting to plunder the packages from your porch.
Porch pirates can strike year around but this time of year is their busy season. We've compiled several suggestions to help ensure your delivery makes it to you.
One of the best ways to prevent package theft is to know where those packages are and when to expect them. All three major services offer free online delivery management services. The services alert you of incoming deliveries and some allow you to schedule or divert deliveries.
Sign up here:
•Consider delivery to an alternate address. If allowed, ship your packages to your work. Otherwise consider a friend or relative who is home during the day. More recent options to consider include secure lockers or drop-off sites. These lockers are typically located at a local business so you can pick up your delivery at your convenience. Additionally, FedEx packages can now be delivered to most Walgreens locations and UPS packages can be delivered to UPS Store locations.
•Create out of view delivery space. Porch pirates will typically only target packages they can see from the street. Create a space out of sight where a delivery driver can leave your packages.
•Enlist your neighbors. Ask a neighbor to pick-up packages from your porch and secure them in your garage or house.
•Consider a secure storage device. Think an oversized mailbox for your porch. Commercially made options with a secure lock are available or construct your own. Either way you can share the lock code with your delivery driver and have them leave packages inside.
•Leave your porch light on. While leaving your light on may make it easier to see any packages on your porch, it may also dissuade a porch pirate from venturing on to your porch.
•Consider a video doorbell and/or security cameras. Video doorbells are an affordable way to increase your home security. You no longer have to be home to see who is at your door. Plus many video doorbells detect motion and can send alerts to your smartphone. Video cameras alone do not necessarily prevent theft and may not always be beneficial in identifying a suspect but you will be able to confirm if a package was actually delivered and when it was taken.
•Utilize in-store pick-up options. We know you shop online to avoid the stores, but for expensive items it may be worth it to pick-up your purchase at a local store.
Missing a package?
Unfortunately there may come a time when an expected delivery is not at your doorstep. What should you do?
1. Contact the shipper (the store you purchased from). Confirm shipping details with them. If they indicate the package shows a delivered status the business will follow their procedure. Some businesses will issue a refund or replacement immediately.
2. Contact the shipping company (company delivering what you purchased) and report the missing package. Every company has their own procedure and some require a claim to be filed by the shipper, not the recipient.
3. If after contacting the shipper and shipping company you have determined the package was stolen, contact us to make a report. We do not accept on-line "self' reports of theft. Please call our non-emergency dispatch number, (608) 270-4300, to make a report. While a report may not be immediately beneficial to you it will help us identify patterns and may assist in locating suspect(s). Additionally, if a suspect is located and/or property is found, we can then return your property.