Package Theft Prevention - Home Security Tips to Ensure Safe Delivery of Your Packages

7 Home Security Tips to Protect Against Package Theft Year-Round

With more and more people doing their shopping online, delivery trucks and the packages they deliver have become a prime target for today's greedy thieves. According to NBC News, approximately 23 million U.S. residents have been victimized by package theft.

To ensure safe delivery of your packages and keep them out of the hands of thieves, follow these important home security tips.

7 Home Security Tips to Protect Against Package Theft

1. Have packages delivered to where you are, not where you aren't. Your home is not the only place you can have your packages delivered. For example, if you work during the day, have items you order online delivered to your place of business instead of your home address. Instruct family and friends to do the same for packages they mail to you throughout the year.

2. Set up alternative delivery/pickup options through your local delivery services. Whether the majority of your packages are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx, each offers alternative delivery and pickup options. For example, UPS has an expanding Access Point network that provides for delivery and pickup of packages at local grocery or convenience stores in various neighborhoods. When you sign up through this network, UPS will deliver your packages to the access point of your choice. You can also set up delivery of your packages with a neighbor or a UPS store near you.

Each delivery service offers alternative package delivery and pickup options to its local residents. This is true for both packages you mail to others and packages mailed to you. Taking advantage of these options is as easy as visiting each service's website and registering for the delivery option that works best for you. For more information, click on the links provided above.

4. Require a signature for packages you mail to family and friends. When mailing packages through your local post office or another delivery service, require the packages to be signed for when they are delivered. The small fee associated with this service is well worth the peace of mind you'll receive in knowing that your package will not fall prey to the hands of a thief.

5. Talk to family and friends ahead of time about the best way to ensure they receive their packages. For items you order and have delivered to family and friends, talk to them ahead of time about your concerns about package theft and ask what the safest option is for them. If they tell you it's safe for packages to be left on their doorstep, educate them on what you learned from this article and encourage them to take advantage of the delivery options available. In the end, it's your time, money, and sentiment that will be lost if their package is stolen. So take whatever steps are necessary to keep the gifts you mail to loved ones out of the hands of thieves.

6. Discourage thieves from targeting your resident with a few strategic home security devices. Many of the news reports on package theft are centered around home surveillance cameras that have caught these crimes on tape. As can be seen in the 6ABC Action News report out of South Philadelphia, many of these thieves have no problem stealing packages in broad daylight. Within just a few hours of placing a fake package on a resident's doorstep, their hidden camera captured the blatant theft of their decoy package by a man in broad daylight.

In addition to revealing the prevalence of these crimes, home surveillance cameras can be effective crime deterrents for residents. The key is to ensure your home security cameras are prominently displayed where potential criminals can see them, yet high enough to prevent them from being tampered with. Most criminals want to avoid being seen or caught carrying out their crimes. A home protected by multiple home security cameras is not as enticing to criminals as one without them.

If you have yet to install security cameras around your home, it's important to know what to look for before purchasing a system. A wireless surveillance system with multiple cameras, a portable LCD monitor, and a built-in DVR offers optimum convenience in terms of setup and monitoring. A home surveillance system such as this is also an important layer of home security when it comes to protecting against burglaries and home invasions.

Outdoor security lighting and a home alarm system can also be effective crime deterrents. To prevent burglars and other intruders from entering your home, invest in a security door brace and glass protection film.

7. Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles and people in your neighborhood. Putting a stop to package theft and residential burglaries is a team effort. Talk to your neighbors and encourage everyone to keep an eye out for unfamiliar vehicles and people in your neighborhood. This is especially important when a delivery truck arrives on your street. Some thieves follow these trucks around and steal the packages they leave on residents' doorsteps within a few minutes after delivery.

If you notice a stranger walking or driving around your neighborhood, call 911 and provide a description of the vehicle and the person, including the license plate of the vehicle if possible. Recording the theft with the use of a cell phone or video camera can also be useful in bringing the criminal to justice. For your safety, never attempt to intervene or apprehend a criminal yourself. Simply call 911 and report the crime to your local law enforcement agency.

If at any time you notice a package sitting on a neighbor's porch, bring it to your home for safe keeping until your neighbor arrives home. You can also ask neighbors to do the same for you.

Protect Your Packages and Your Home

Package theft isn't limited to the holidays—it's a year-round problem. To ensure packages are safely delivered to you and your loved ones, take the time to implement the home security tips discussed above. In addition, share them with your friends and family to ensure they, too, are protected against today's greedy package thieves.


1. NBC News. (2015). 'Porch pirates' driving up package thefts this holiday season. Retrieved from

2. 6ABC Action News. (2015). Special report: Hidden cameras capture package thefts. Retrieved from

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