At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, online ordering became increasingly more popular with people who wanted to stay socially distanced from the threat of the virus, but still wanted to enjoy their isolation as much as possible. Because of its ease and convenience, online ordering continues to be the way that many people prefer to shop, even as COVID-19 vaccinations have been developed and people are more comfortable going out again.
While people were at home, accepting deliveries was usually not a big problem. The delivery person could leave the package on the front steps, knock or ring the doorbell, then head back to the truck to maintain separation from the customer. However, as people are starting to return to work and getting out more, packages that were once immediately snatched up by the consumer are now being left on doorsteps, waiting for someone to come and collect them.
Unfortunately, this has led to an increase in a type of theft known as “porch pirating.” Porch pirates watch for deliveries or drive around looking for packages that have been dropped off and aren’t immediately claimed by the owners. They then trespass onto private property, grab the package or packages, then jump back in their vehicle and drive off. In many cases, it all happens so quickly, the victim’s neighbors don’t even notice it happened and have no information to provide to the police.
If you enjoy the convenience of ordering online but can’t always be home to accept deliveries when they arrive, there are a few things you can do to keep porch pirates at bay:
– Surveillance. Installing outdoor surveillance cameras serve two purposes. First, many would-be thieves steer clear of homes that have security cameras because they don’t want to be identified. Second, if the robber doesn’t see the cameras or doesn’t care that they are there, the footage recorded by the camera can help identify the suspects so the thieves can be arrested and stolen property can be recovered.
– Smart Doorbells. Smart doorbells allow you to be notified remotely through your smartphone or tablet if someone is approaching your home and can provide live video footage of what’s happening. If a delivery is being dropped off and you aren’t there to receive it, you can contact a neighbor and ask them if they can secure the package until you get home.
– Smart Door Locks. Used in conjunction with smart doorbells, smart door locks give you the ability to unlock and relock your door remotely, using your smartphone or tablet. Smart doorbells also frequently have an audio component to provide you with remote two-way communication with anyone at your door. If a delivery person arrives, your phone will notify you, you can then unlock your door, instruct the driver to place the package inside your home (or office), then lock the door back up when they leave.
Johns Brothers Security is ready to help you win the war against porch pirates and protect the things that are rightfully yours. Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll provide you with a customized smart security plan that fits any budget.