7 Tips on How to Prevent Package Theft at the Doorstep

Updated on June 12, 2019
Kenna McHugh profile image

I worked on a training program for police officers on how to interrogate criminals and interview survivors of a crime.

Convenience of Shopping Online is Not Safe

Certain times of year we participate in some of the biggest shopping days. The holiday season with Hanukkah and Christmas are the major shopping days compared to any other season. The convenience of shopping online means avoiding crowded parking lots, and long lines at the stores. More and more people shop online with packages delivered to homes.

Gifts for birthdays, Mother's Day, weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers arrive by UPS or USPS at the doorstep. USA Today reported close to one-third of Americans are hit with package theft from their doorstep. Over half Americans know someone who had their packages stolen from their doorstep. I remind you when you make an online purchase during heavy shopping times or any time for that matter, follow these suggestions to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of package theft.

What You Can Do to Prevent Package Theft

I researched these suggestions and even contacted my local City Council Member for his invaluable feedback.

1. Tracking packages are so easy to do. Make sure you sign up for delivery alerts. That way, you have an estimated time for delivery and receive an alert the move the package delivered at the door. One of my Amazon Prime delivery people takes a picture of my package after she places it on the doorstep.

2. Not everyone is fortunate to be home when their package arrives. If you have a neighbor you trust, ask them to pick up the package when it arrives and hold it until you get home.

3. Asking for a signature on the delivery seems inconvenient, but it protects your delivery. So, ask for it whenever possible.

4. If where you work allows personal items to be shipped to the workplace, instruct the packages to be shipped to your place of work. If your workplace allows personal items shipped there, you can instruct the shipping service to send the packages to your work address.

5. Be neighborly, if you notice a package a neighbor's doorstep, take a moment and inquire if you can help them by holding it till they come home. Even still, if you work at home as I do, let your neighbors know they can send their packages to your doorstep.

6. Invest in a security box for packages. There are several on the market, and they are expensive. The ideal security box secures once the package placed in the box. The box needs a solid latch that snaps shut while locking at the same time. The packages stay secure until someone arrives and unlatches the box. The only problem is multiple deliveries from different carriers. If you want to keep the cost down, do what I did. I bought a Suncast Storage Box without a lock. The box blends in with my grey colored porch. The delivery person places my packages in the box and closes it

7. The idea is a security camera wards off potential theft because nobody wants to get caught on camera stealing your packages. My theory is how does that stop them, and if you get them on camera, then how do you catch them?

Let’s say security cameras work. Placing two cameras work with one focused on the front door and one focused on the driveway. If either of the two cameras gets a wide shot of the street, all the better for catching the perpetrator is the outcome. Having the cameras visible, so the criminals see them give second thoughts about stealing your package at your front door.

Security Camera Technology

With the latest technology, you install a mobile app, so you monitor your home on the days you expect delivery. The app alerts you if anyone once comes near your front door – be it your package or thief.

The security cameras come with different kinds of styles and sensors. Bullet cameras are easy to see, so they ward off criminals. Dome cameras are discrete but not as visible. Weather resistant equipment is a smart choice along with night vision. Motion detection works, but infrared technology works better. It all depends on your budget, but the higher quality of equipment the more likely you will catch or ward off the thieves.

UPS Didn't Leave Package at My Doorstep

United Parcel Service (UPS) tried to deliver a package, but I wasn't home. The driver didn't want to leave it unattended. Instead, he took it to the local UPS store for me to pick up the next day.

Now, I didn't request UPS not to leave it. The driver took the initiative and thought best not to leave the package at the doorstep. I know the package is large, so it makes sense. I am thankful.

With that, it looks like UPS and possibly other carriers are taking precautions against package theft.

What To Do If Your Package is Stolen

If packages get stolen from your doorstep, first contact your city police, and then check with your neighbors and ask if anyone saw any suspicious behavior.

Once my UPS delivery man tried to be helpful in protecting some packages delivered to my house, he shoved them under my backyard gate. The only problem was my dog ate them up. Others have placed them behind planters and such, but lately, some Amazon drivers throw them on the doorstep without a care in the world.

Don't Do Anything Illegal

Unfortunately, criminals exist in society. They continue to commit crimes until they change through rehabilitation. The first step toward rehabilitation is getting their self-respect back. There is a wonderful organization called The Way to Happiness Foundation that can help a criminal get his or her self-respect back.

The Way to Happiness Foundation promotes a small booklet with 21 precepts. The 21 precepts illustrate how to live a happy life by making the right choices. The booklets come in packages of twelve. The idea is to keep one booklet for yourself and give away the eleven other booklets to people in your life. You give a booklet to someone you care about or needs help in making the right choices.

Criminon is an organization that uses The Way to Happiness booklets to teach life skills to inmates in correctional institutions, so they learn and get their self-respect back. Many staff and clients of the correctional institutions studied The Way to Happiness booklets as well.

One of the precepts in the booklet is “Don’t Do Anything Illegal.” Just think, if people lived by that principle. The world would be a better place without worrying about our packages being stolen from the doorstep.

I pass these booklets out to the general public in hopes it helps people live a better and happier life.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Kenna McHugh


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      • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenna McHugh 

        9 months ago from Northern California

        TD, Thank you for your comment. I thought about adding a tip about a security camera, and I might do that as an update. But, my brother had one installed at his home, and they still had their packages stolen. Though, they did get the perpetrator on camera. It was a nice piece of footage. They still lost their packages.

      • profile image


        9 months ago

        Nice article, it has helpful information. I am curious as to why you didn't add a security camera. They should ward off theft.

      • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenna McHugh 

        9 months ago from Northern California

        Liz, It sounds like you have a nice setup. I work at home, so the neighbors can leave their packages with me as well.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        9 months ago from UK

        Great tips here. We are fortunate that most delivery drivers need a signature, so rather than leave a package outside the door, they drop it next door.

      • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

        Kenna McHugh 

        9 months ago from Northern California

        Alexander, I can't agree more. Neighbors helping neighbors is the key to a safe and secure neighborhood.

      • Guckenberger profile image

        Alexander James Guckenberger 

        9 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

        Communicating with one's neighbors can be important.


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