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How to Avoid Porch Pirates and Get Packages Delivered Safely

Whenever you have a package delivered to your door, there’s a chance you could fall victim to porch pirates. Unfortunately, tons of people each year have packages stolen as they arrive in the mail. With the holiday season coming up, it’s important to ensure your packages are delivered safely. Here are some facts about porch pirates and how you can receive packages safely at your rental. 


Contents of This Article: 

What are Porch Pirates?

Porch pirates are people that steal packages from other people’s homes. Although it sounds like an unfathomable activity for most, porch pirates are more common than you may think. That said, people may steal packages for several reasons. 


For instance, taking a package from someone’s doorstep is not difficult, so it’s usually just a crime of opportunity. Another reason a porch pirate strikes is if there’s a chance of valuable merchandise, like a phone, computer, or gaming system. The idea is that they can take the item and resell it for profit. 

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, there’s been a steep rise in porch pirate incidents. During this time, there were significant increases in online orders as most people stayed home instead of shopping in person. As such, more packages were being delivered to people’s doorsteps. Next, we’ll go over statistics about porch pirates and how common package theft is. 

How Common Is Package Theft Around the Holidays?

According to a 2022 study by C+R Research, around 14% of Americans have had packages stolen by porch pirates. Some people have fallen victim more than once, with 22% of people having two packages stolen and 11% having three or more stolen. 

That said, during the holidays, package theft is even worse. Surprisingly, around 43% of Americans who holiday shop online claim they’ve experienced package theft. In addition, most people (about 59%) who have packages stolen live in urban areas, around 38% live in suburban areas, and 31% live in rural areas. 

This year, most Americans (84%) plan on having at least one package delivered during the holiday season. With that, only 26% are worried about porch pirates striking this year, while 37% of people know someone who’s had a package stolen during the holidays.

All in all, it’s crucial to keep your packages safe from porch pirates. But how can you prevent someone from taking your packages if you’re not home? Here are some tips for receiving packages safely if you live in a rental property. 

Tips for Receiving Packages Safely at Your Rental

Getting packages delivered to your apartment or rental property can be nerve-wracking. If you’re not home and you don’t have security cameras, it can be hard to determine where your package truly is. That said, if you want to avoid porch pirates, there are several ways you can receive packages safely

  1. Track Your Deliverytracking-delivery
  2. Require Signature on Delivery
  3. Schedule Delivery Days
  4. Use the “Ship to Store” Option

Track Your Delivery

One of the top ways to avoid porch pirates is by tracking your package delivery. Conveniently, all major delivery companies and the US Postal Service offer updates on when a package will arrive. When you track your package online, you can see exactly where it is and when it will be delivered, so you can keep an eye on your doorstep. 

However, if you’re not home, consider having a neighbor or trusted friend keep an eye on your package. After all, the best way to avoid porch piracy is to limit the time between delivery and retrieval. 

Require Signature on Delivery

Generally, delivery drivers leave packages on your porch or at your front door. However, there’s more you can do to ensure safe delivery. For example, if the shipping company allows it, you can require a signature upon delivery. 

This strategy is excellent for days when you’re home and can sign for packages. However, if you’re at work or gone for the day, it can result in missed deliveries. But, if it’s an expensive or valuable package, it can be worth the wait to ensure it’s not sitting out all day. 

Schedule Delivery Days

Another great strategy to avoid porch pirates is scheduling your delivery days. Usually, before you buy something online, it’ll give you an estimate of when it’ll arrive. Then, you can be prepared to take your package inside so it’s not sitting out all day. 

Some online shopping sites, like Amazon, also allow you to schedule all of your deliveries together. This can also help avoid porch pirates by limiting the number of packages you get during the week. 

Use the “Ship to Store” Option


Most retailers offer a convenient “ship to store” option if you’re shopping online. That way, you can order any item that they don’t have in stock and buy it online instead. Then, if you live near the store’s physical location, you can ship it there instead of to your home. 

However, this option is pretty inconvenient if you don’t live near the retail store or don’t want to spend time running errands. Additionally, in-store pickup isn’t available for every retailer or online store, so it only works with certain items. 

Security Options Landlords Should Consider

You’re responsible for keeping your property and tenants safe when you own rental properties. However, it can be hard to stop porch pirates, especially when nobody is home. That said, here are some suggestions for property managers in Northern Virginia that want to ensure their tenants’ mail and packages are safe during the holiday season. 

  • Set Up Security Cameras
  • Provide a Smart Delivery Box
  • Install Motion Detector Lights

Set Up Security Cameras

One of the best ways to help your tenants stay safe and avoid porch pirates is by installing security cameras. These days, there are several security options, including doorbell cameras, traditional security systems, and more. 

Overall, security cameras are great for several reasons and can help in more instances than just porch pirates. However, buying and installing them won’t be cheap, so you’ll have to save and plan accordingly. 

Provide a Smart Delivery Box


Another way you can help your tenants avoid porch pirates is by providing a smart delivery box. A smart delivery box is a lockable box that sits on your porch to protect packages from the elements and from porch pirates. 

You’ll need to enter a code to open the box, which you can share with delivery drivers and no one else. While it’s not necessary for a rental property, some people might be willing to pay more for extra security.

Install Motion Detector Lights

Finally, installing motion detector lights is another way to protect your tenants. After all, if someone’s trying to steal something or break into someone’s property, they’re hoping to strike without being seen. 

However, motion detector lights can scare them away before they have a chance. As such, installing them for your rental properties can be highly beneficial. 

Protect Your Rentals with Property Management

If you want to protect your rental from porch pirates and other threats, consider hiring property management. Aside from cameras and security devices, property managers can ensure your tenants and rentals are safe all year round. So, if you’re looking for comprehensive property management services, reach out to Bay Property Management Group. 

Bay Property Management Group offers a wide range of property management services, from tenant screening to rental registration. So whether you need help finding new tenants or rental maintenance, we’ve got you covered. Contact BMG today if you need rental management in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.