Dealing with Porch Pirates
Dr. John Woods 08.05.20
Who would have thought five years ago that we would have to be dealing with common thieves taking packages right off our front porches? For our neighborhood, I saw it coming years ago with a weekly event I dubbed the “dumpster divers” or trash opportunists cruising our streets the day before trash pickup. They would take anything they thought to be of value. I know, we threw it out anyway, but it has led to more advanced practices.
The trash hawks would simply drive around from house to house poring over the trash cans and junk put out on the streets. I guess that was not enough. Now they drive around checking porches for package deliveries. Some of them even follow FedEx or UPS trucks around to see what they deliver. After the deliveries are made, the thieves run up to the door and grab the packages. Stealing in broad daylight. Imagine that. You’ve surely seen it on YouTube. So, how do you prevent it happening to you?
It’s good practice for preppers and bug-in survivalists to make certain their daily domain is secure. That is one thing, but preventing porch thieves is another dimension in home security. One neighbor across from my home has self-installed security cameras with a wide view that picks up anyone that approaches from the street. It alerts his cell phone when someone approaches the front door or garage. It videos the entire episode. This is one good step toward better home security.
Many package delivery services now notify customers by phone message text when a delivery is due. Be sure to pay attention to that and be ready to get your packages firsthand at the door or soon after it is delivered. Some drivers ring the doorbell, some do not. Just keep a heads up on scheduled deliveries when you order merchandise on line.
Other door and porch monitoring devices and services are available. Look into those so you know what is available. The Ring system is getting lots of notice, but I am not familiar with anyone that has it. Check it out. What you want is a monitoring system that allows you to see who approaches the door or is already there and be able to talk to them. I am not sure you would want an exchange. A visit by a stranger may be legitimate or not.
If a porch pirate makes off with a package, call the police and show them the video. Report the incident to the delivery company. This is another good reason to insure all packages in case something happens to it. Do the best you can to insure your packages are not stolen. Be sure it can be replaced at no cost.