Shopping online means more deliveries, risk for porch pirates – Canton Repository - 1Home

Shopping online means more deliveries, risk for porch pirates – Canton Repository

Retailers expect more shoppers to buy gifts online this holiday season, which means more home deliveries.It also means “porch pirates.”These thieves lurk, even following delivery vans, with hopes of stealing packages from people’s homes.“We normally expect that these occurrences will go up as the holidays approach but we have not seen a spike yet,” Massillon […]



Retailers expect more shoppers to buy gifts online this holiday season, which means more home deliveries.
It also means “porch pirates.”
These thieves lurk, even following delivery vans, with hopes of stealing packages from people’s homes.
“We normally expect that these occurrences will go up as the holidays approach but we have not seen a spike yet,” Massillon Police Chief Jason Saintenoy said last week.
More than 49 million Americans have had a package stolen in the past 12 months, bringing more than $2.4 billion in losses nationwide, according to a survey of more than 18,000 adults by the security tracking website Security.org.
“A huge part of this is the sheer volume of online shopping for Black Friday, etc.,” said Divya Sangameshwar, a consumer finance expert for ValuePenguin, a personal finance website, which conducted its own survey on home delivery thefts.
A record 196.7 million Americans shopped this year in stores and online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insight and Analytics. That was an increase of nearly 17 million shoppers from 2021.
The survey said 42% of those shoppers bought gifts online.
“The volume of packages being delivered is probably going to be higher than usual, which increases your risk of being a victim of porch piracy,” Sangameshwar said.
Sangameshwar said while there will always be risk of theft with home deliveries, consumers have options to put up a good defense against the pirates.
“For me, the obvious solution is to ship to store or a secure locker, like UPS, or pick it up at the post office. But I know this isn’t possible for everyone,” she said.
That was a suggestion also recommended by Capt. James Hilles of the Alliance Police Department, who said that while these solutions add the “step of driving there to pick up, but it keeps your package safe.”
Hilles also said Amazon will leave packages in your garage if you have a “smart” opener for the door.
Saintenoy said consumers should track packages and make “all attempts” to be home at the time of delivery; if that’s not possible, have the package delivered to a trusted friend, neighbor or relative’s home who can receive it.
“Also, many shipper’s allow a buyer to add a message at checkout to the item being delivered. Use this feature and request shippers leave the package in a less visible area, such as a side door,” Saintenoy added.
Requiring a signature on packages and keeping your residence well lit when it gets dark also were recommendations.
Still, “With deliveries there’s always going to be a risk,” Sangameshwar said.
While home security cameras and video doorbells can be deterrents for porch pirates, they are not force fields. Packages can, and do, get stolen from homes with security cameras.
For example, a survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers by ValuePenguin on home delivery thefts showed a majority of Americans (59%) who were victims of porch piracy within the last 12 months had at least one camera installed.
“Porch pirates have become more aware of home door cameras,” Sangameshwar said. “They will wear masks or walk below the line of sight.”
Hilles said cameras should be visible, have clean lenses, record and have their lenses pointed in the right direction. “Multiple cameras are best,” with one that can get a vehicle in the background, Hilles said.
Still he said most cameras do not have facial recognition capabilities, which can limit their ability to help identify suspects. “It’s not CSI,” Hilles said, where, “(you) get a hit in less than a minute.”
“Usually we have to share a picture amongst officers at the station for an ID or ask the public by posting the pic on our Facebook page,” he added.
Reach Benjamin Duer at 330-580-8567 or ben.duer@cantonrep.com. Follow on Twitter @bduerREP.
Divya Sangameshwar of ValuePenguin cautioned shoppers that insurance on packages might not cover you on a stolen package. “Read the fine print. The policies will only cover the package stolen during the delivery,” not after delivery, she said. Six steps to take after your package is stolen:
Source: ValuePenquin

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