10 Tips on How to Prevent Package Theft at the Doorstep

Updated on May 23, 2020
Kenna McHugh profile image

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

Make sure you sign up for delivery alerts. That way, you have an estimated time for delivery and receive an alert the moment the parcel arrives at the door.
Make sure you sign up for delivery alerts. That way, you have an estimated time for delivery and receive an alert the moment the parcel arrives at the door.

Convenience of Shopping Online Is Not Safe

Certain times of the year, we participate in some of the biggest shopping days. The holiday season with Hanukkah and Christmas are primary shopping days compared to any other season. Going from store to store can wear down a person with all the crowds and hauling the packages to the car in the shopping mall's massive parking lot. Now, there is shopping online, which saves you time and money if you make enough effort to secure your packages when they arrive at your doorstep.

The convenience of shopping online means avoiding crowded parking lots and long lines at the stores. More and more people buy products in the comfort of their home or office with packages delivered to their homes.

Gifts for birthdays, Mother's Day, weddings, bridal and baby showers arrive by UPS, FedEx, Amazon Prime, or USPS at the doorstep. Package theft outside a homeowner's door is a problem we are facing with the convenience of online shopping.

USA Today reported close to one-third of Americans are hit with package theft from their doorstep. Over half of Americans know someone who had their packages stolen from their doorstep. I want to 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.

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

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. Track the Package

Tracking a package is a straightforward process. Make sure you sign up for delivery alerts. That way, you have an estimated time for delivery and receive an alert the moment the parcel arrives at the door. One of my Amazon Prime delivery people takes a picture of my package after she places it on the doorstep and sends me the photo.

2. Ask a Neighbor to Keep an Eye Out

Not everyone is fortunate to be home when the delivery person arrives with their package. Having a neighbor you trust to take the parcel and keep it until you get home, is a workable solution.

3. Request That a Signature Be Required

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

4. Send Packages to Your Workplace

If your workplace allows personal items shipped to your office, request the packages to be sent to your place of business.

5. Be a Good Neighbor

If you notice a parcel at 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 package to your doorstep.

6. Invest in a Security Box for Parcels

There are several on the market, and they are expensive. The ideal security box secures once the delivery gets placed in the case. The box needs a solid latch that snaps shut while locking at the same time. The parcels 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 case and closes it.

7. Buy a Security Camera

This can war off potential theft because nobody wants to get caught on camera stealing your packages. Having the cameras visible, so the criminals see them gives second thoughts about taking your parcel at your front door. My argument is, how does that stop the criminal? If you capture their image on digital, how does the police catch them? Some recommend cameras are nest wire indoor cameras and Arlo Pro Wireless outdoor.

Let's assume security cameras work, and you place two cameras around the outside of your home. One camera focused on the front door, and the second camera focused on the driveway. If the cameras capture a wide shot angle shot of the street, you have a better chance of catching the perpetrator on camera.

8. Sign up for Online Accounts With USPS, UPS, and FedEx

That way, you get notifications every time a package is dropped off and can tell the delivery person what location at your home to leave it. If you have multiple security cameras, you can see if the delivery people are following your directions. The USPS account also shows you what mail you should be receiving each day, with scanned images. All three companies also provide apps for your smartphone to track packages and get notifications.

9. Send it to an Amazon Locker

For Amazon deliveries, Amazon lockers are convenient. If you have packages delivered to a Rite Aid Amazon locker, you will get a $5 off a $10 purchase when you pick up your delivery and show the cashier.

10. Report Stolen Packages to the Police

Anytime you are a victim of any sort of theft, including a package, always report it to the police. If not said, it's as if it never happened. All reports help show stats of the areas with crimes that are happening and determine where resources get allocated.

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 the 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 shipment was huge, so it made sense. Huge enough to be seen from the street, so I am thankful. With that, it looks like UPS and possibly other carriers are taking precautions against package theft.

FedEx Left My Package

FedEx left my package at my doorstep behind my planters. The photo shows you can see the small parcel, but it blends in with the front door scene, so no one notices it. You can set up your porch, so a delivery blends in with the scheme.

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 help protect 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 recovery 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 stolen from the doorstep.

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

© 2018 Kenna McHugh


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Kenna McHugh profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenna McHugh 

      19 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


      19 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 

      19 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 

      19 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 

      19 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 

      19 months ago from Maryland, United States of America

      Communicating with one's neighbors can be important.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)