The dramatically increased popularity of online shopping during the Coronavirus pandemic has brought a dramatic increase in the number of packages delivered by companies such as UPS and Federal Express.  The popularity of online shopping has also resulted in a new term entering the lexicon, namely, “porch pirate,” which is the name given to criminals who cruise through neighborhoods looking for packages to steal that have been left on the doorsteps of homes by delivery services.  Even prior to the pandemic more than 25 million Americans had packages stolen from their front doorsteps during the  2019 holiday shopping season.  Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this crime.

TIPS

If you are not going to be home at the expected time of a delivery, an easy solution is to either have the package delivered to your place of work or have a neighbor who will be home be on the lookout for deliveries to your home.  You also can request that all deliveries require a signature, although this can slow down the delivery process if you aren’t home and end up requiring you to drive to a distribution center if repeated attempts at delivery are thwarted because no one is home to sign for the package.

Another option for protecting yourself is renting a locker at a local package receiving center.  These can be found in most big cities. One of the companies that provide this service in New York City is GoLocker https://www.golocker.com/  You also can rent an Amazon Locker where your Amazon deliveries can be sent. https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=6442600011

Amazon Prime also offers the Amazon Key Home Kit which comes with an app, a smart lock and security camera.  When a delivery is going to be made to your home, you can unlock your home remotely through the app in order to allow the delivery person to bring the package inside your home.  The security camera observes the delivery person throughout the entire process.  When the delivery is completed, you can relock your home using the app.

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