Package Thefts Rising During COVID-19 Pandemic: Porch Pirates Victimized 25 Million Households in Last 90 Days

Scott Repasky
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Key Findings:

Package theft is on the rise, something that is currently being fueled by COVID-19 pandemic. — Package theft and package theft-related crimes are affecting an increasing number of households. — Package theft is a big problem for law enforcement, with data showing a major spike in crime caused by package theft.

Package thefts are rising as COVID-19 drives

online shopping

StubHub's Packages Delivery Status is an

Online spotter tool for tracking stolen or missing packages.

Packages Tend to Be Lightly Guarded and Thieves Can Take

Advantage of this. According to allstate's new home security

Study packages that are delivered to your home are 2.5x more

Likely to Be Stolen than Packages that Are Delivered to Your

Work. Package thefts increased by 25 million compared with

Last year in just the past 90 days. Package thefts are up by

13% compared with last year.

"Package Thefts Go Viral"

An 8-day period in December, 2013, package thefts were so.

Bad that in that same 60-day period, packages were.

Targeted at a Higher Rate than Burglaries and Car Thefts

Combined. Thieves would just walk down the driveway and

Pick up Boxes that Anyone Expecting a Delivery Would Be

Waiting for. The volume of packages taken soared with the

Shipping Season; however There Were No Apparent Changes

In the way packages were being shipped.

The Winter Months Are Peak Seasons for Package-Related

Thefts and according to the National Retail Federation,.

Shipment Volumes Fluctuate Dramatically from Month To

Month. Package thefts typically increase during peak

No home type is safe from package theft

In the second quarter of 2019, the number of package thefts in the United States rose 37% over the same period last year. The data was compiled by Providence, Rhode Island-based Alight Solutions, which develops software to help retailers and brands improve delivery and customer service. Alight said its software scans more than 50 million emails from major retailers daily for shipping confirmation, coupon, and order information, and then builds a database of shipping-related activity including deliveries and returns.

The data shows from the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019, thefts of packages delivered by all carriers rose 37% from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2018. Thefts increased by 67% from the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019 — the largest quarterly increase since the company began tracking thefts in 2015.

Alight found that thefts of UPS packages rose by 79% over last year's numbers as of the second quarter. FedEx shipments were stolen 32% more often.

"These numbers surprised us," said Andrew Flachner, executive vice president and COO at Alight. "Package theft overall in the US is extremely rare."

Most package thefts are not being reported to police

Most package thefts are not being reported to police. It is recommended you do report it, to insure proper documentation in case your neighbor gets caught. Some police departments will not return a package to you, if it has been reported stolen.

Don’t Trust UPS or the USPS for Package Security: The countries largest delivery companies ship packages in an unsecured fashion. They provide no guarentee to the consumer the packages are being delivered to the address they were intended for. It is interesting to note the USPS will take a package back to the central office and ship it in the cheapest way possible to the original address on the package.

The Thieves Are Coming Back for More: If an individual steals a package from your home, check your video surveillance before giving up the location of the package. After the thief accepts the package they will return to the porch and look to see if there are any other packages. They will also look for a package that is easy to steal and they can transport without drawing attention from neighbors.

Websites Are Being Hacked For Package Information: Thieves are using complicated computer hacking techniques. They will try website based hacks, phone provider software hacks and or bank/credit card software hacks to have information necessary for fraudulent charges, stealing packages and stealing identities. This is a proven fact, and now these tactics are the number one financial threat to large retailers.

How to avoid or deter package theft

A package isn’t only a delivery of goods to you. It’s a delivery of your personal information … and the recipient’s too. The more information thieves have about your identity and your spending habits, the greater the chance of identity theft.

While you might not worry about people stealing packages because you’re not ordering goods, you should seriously consider a home security system, even with a package theft deterrent system, if you’re not ordering from your home.

Many professional thieves seek out homes that don’t have any security. Since many packages are shipped to residential homes, they are a common target not only for package thieves but also for residential thieves.

Choose a Package Theft Deterrent System

Choose a package theft deterrent system that’s right for your home and your budget. While not all systems include monitoring, they all offer a deterrent. Remember, having your property stolen is not the only reason to protect your packages.

Purchasing a package theft deterrent system is another great reason to register your home with C o VID-19. C o VID-19 stores the information you provide in FBI databases in case the worst happens and your property is stolen.

About Security.org Research and This Study