Consumers embraced online shopping before the pandemic started. Since the beginning of the pandemic, online shopping has increased exponentially. In 2020, online shopping increased by 43 percent. We now shop for everything from household appliances to food online. Your excitement at receiving those packages is lost if that package is stolen.
The sharp rise in e-commerce over the last few years has also increased package theft incidents, which are growing daily. During the holidays, it becomes more prevalent. In the past twelve months, 49 million people have had at least one package stolen, for a total of over 260 million package thefts.
Check Your Security Camera
First, the bad news. Less than ten percent of stolen packages are ever recovered. However, your chances of recovering your packages increase if you have security cameras.
If you have a security system, first see what the camera recorded. You will need that information if you file a police report. Many of today’s security cameras, such as Premier’s home security cameras, have a motion sensor and will begin recording as soon as they detect movement on your porch or your property.
Depending on the camera setup, your security system may detect movement. This will show you a street view, so you can see the type of vehicle the porch pirate was driving. Your best choice is a wide-angle camera that can record activity around your property.
Most security systems today allow you to synchronize your home alarm system to your phone, so you can check on your home when you are away. If you just moved into a home, check with your Nashville realtor to see if you apply for special alarm system discounts and promotions.
Ask Your Neighbors
Next, check with your neighbors. Maybe the delivery person took your package to the wrong house or if they saw anyone loitering around the neighborhood. If you file a police report, any information you can give them will help.
If you don’t have security cameras to provide evidence, the police will need to know if there were any witnesses.
Contact the Sender
You can also contact the sender to verify shipping details. Check whether the tracking information shows the package delivered. Or, if there has been a delay in either shipping or delivery.
The sender can provide you with tracking details. See where the package is currently, and how long before delivery.
If your package has been stolen, larger retailers often have an uncomplicated process for filing a claim and will issue a refund or credit quickly. Beware though, purchases from smaller stores may take longer. So you should always take out insurance if your package is expensive or irreplaceable.
Contact the Carrier
If your tracking information shows the package delivered, you may want to file a missing package report with the carrier. Each carrier has different requirements, so check their policies to ensure you have all the information needed. This will help the carrier process your claim more quickly.
File a Police Report
Once you have determined that your package has been stolen, you should file a police report. Video footage of the theft is the best evidence you can give them; however, witness accounts of the robbery or suspicious activity in the neighborhood will also help.
Finding and prosecuting porch pirates is difficult, so every piece of evidence you can give the police will increase your chances of finding the thieves. In addition, you will need the report from the police in order to file a claim on your insurance and your credit card.
Talk to Your Credit Card Company or Insurance
Once you have the police report, you can report the theft to your credit card company or insurance. The value of the package may well determine whether you choose to turn it into your insurance, but most credit card companies have policies to allow you to recoup at least part of your costs.
However, the more expensive the package, the less likely you can recoup your total costs from the credit card company, and some credit card companies will only refund damaged packages.
Because of this and higher insurance deductibles, it’s always advisable to insure the package when you purchase.
How to Catch Someone Stealing Your Package or Mail
Security cameras are the best way to catch someone stealing a package. Nashville home security companies like us here at Premier Tech have state-of-the-art wide-angle, long-range cameras that will record your property and the street in front of your house to ensure you can record the theft.
- Doorbell Camera: A doorbell camera can alert you to someone approaching your front door, and some will allow you to speak to the person on the porch. While this may not deter thieves, it will provide evidence for you to take to the police.
- Outdoor Camera: The strategic placement of outdoor cameras can allow you to see your entire property and the surrounding areas. You may be able to provide police with descriptions and the license plate of the car.
How to Prevent Package Theft
If you prefer not to take a chance on your packages being stolen, you can prevent these thefts in several ways.
- Get Your Packages Delivered Somewhere Else: Many large retailers allow you to rent a locker or deliver packages to a specific UPS or Fed-Ex store or your business. If you know your neighbors well, and one of them is home during the delivery time, you might also have your package delivered to their address, so you can pick it up once you are back home.
- Time Your Delivery: Sometimes, you can also time your delivery to ensure you are home when it arrives. Tracking apps often allow you to schedule your deliveries to ensure you or a neighbor are home to accept the package.
- Install Security Cameras if You Don’t Already Have Them: No thief wants to be seen. Security companies will give you a sign to place in your yard or window to notify thieves that cameras are recording them. Video is your best defense against package theft. Often the sticker or yard sign the security company gives you is enough deterrent, but if your packages are stolen, and you have video security, your chances of prosecuting the thieves increase dramatically.
Contact Premier Home Security today for a free quote & see which system is best for your needs.