'Tis the season for package thieves. Deliveries will be arriving on doorsteps across the country in the weeks ahead, and that means a higher risk of package theft a.k.a. "porch pirates." A new survey of 2,000 consumers finds 92 percent expect to have at least one online order delivered this holiday season, while 54 percent are fearful of packages being stolen when buying online. Those fears seem to be well-founded, as more than a third of consumers (36 percent) reported having a package stolen within the last year.
The survey also asked what people are doing to respond to or prevent package theft. Matt Zajechowski, outreach strategist with the marketing firm Digital Third Coast, says most respondents are taking matters into their own hands. "The top response was 44 percent who said they had some sort of camera installed," he tells KTRH. "What I thought was interesting is 10 percent of people said they actually bought a dog to deter thieves."
When it comes to who people contact first after a package theft, the vast majority said they reach out to the seller, while a smaller number contact their neighbors. "Surprisingly enough, only 13 percent are actually contacting the police over it," says Zajechowski.
As for the best way to prevent porch pirates, some people have resorted to creative measures. But there are better ways to avoid having unattended packages on your doorstep. "Shipping items directly to the store for pick-up...a lot of companies have that option now," says Zajechowski. "Requiring a signature, installing a doorbell camera, asking the driver to hide the package, or having packages sent to friends, family or your job."