COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Black Friday shopping is only a week away and shoppers aren’t the only ones waiting eagerly.
An estimated 94% of Americans will be ordering online and having packages delivered this holiday season, according to a survey done by Lombardo Homes. That means porch pirates are entering a busy season.
“Over one in three Americans or over a third of Americans have had a package stolen at some point,” said Maria Pearlman with Lombardo Homes.
The survey also said around 78% of Americans are more worried about stolen packages during the holiday season.
“In the years following the pandemic where delivery just became a more available option, it’s really not a surprise that nearly all Americans are planning to have a package delivered to their home this holiday season,” Pearlman said.
The statistics are staggering when you look at how much money is effectively lost through stolen packages.
“The average amount of those stolen packages was about $219,” Pearlman said. “So not just a $5 Amazon delivery, but generally packages of some substance.”
She estimates nearly $6 billion in total losses last year due to stolen packages. Another survey from Security.org had an even higher estimate at $8 billion.
Pearlman said there are several ways you can mitigate the risk of having a package stolen.
“If you don’t have a doorbell camera that would kind of be the first step, right… You can get that video evidence. It’s at least something more. If you’re able to file a police report that’s probably the first step. But unfortunately due to the values of the contents of the packages it’s not always, you know, a hefty enough crime,” Pearlman said.
She also recommends tracking the delivery process, signing up for alerts and staying home when expecting a package.
“Or just having it sent to another location. So, maybe, you work in an office building you can send your packages there and have someone sign for it at the front desk or know that they’ll be in a secure location. Or maybe you can send it to a family member that you know will be home or maybe they have less thefts in their area,” Pearlman added.
Another way to potentially ensure delivery is to request the package be signed for depending on what service is delivering it, have the package dropped at a back door, or create a “hidden” box or storage container on your porch that the delivery person can place the package in.
“If it’s sitting on the porch and someone drives by and it looks like no one’s home it presents opportunity for kind of an easy grab,” said Pearlman.