Scuttling Porch Pirates

Scuttling Porch Pirates

The advent of e-commerce has much to recommend it. Shopping in your PJs. Dodging the crowds at the mall. Avoiding grocery cart dings in the minivan’s quarter panels.

There’s one glaring disadvantage, though: porch pirates. If you don’t keep your eyes peeled, you could lose that new down jacket you ordered to a sneakthief who sees the box on your front doorstep and snags it before you do.

According to one 2022 study conducted by, 49 million Americans have had at least one package filched during the last 12 months. The median value of the stolen merch was $50.

Arguably, this rash of front-door larceny was worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and increased online shopping. But though people are back in brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping is here to stay. So, if porch piracy is an ongoing problem, what are consumers to do?

Here are a few suggestions from that may help:

  • Out of sight, out of mind. It’s hard for a thief to steal a package they never get to see. If you’re one of the legions returning to a workplace, consider having your purchases delivered to the office’s mailroom instead of your home.
  • Make it tougher. Home security systems have gotten cheaper and easier to install, and innovations like doorbell cameras have made it harder to get away with stealing delivered packages. They also make it easier to prosecute criminals who’re caught in the act.
  • Schedule drop-offs. You can arrange with most services to deliver packages when you’re home.
  • Box it up. Another option for ensuring safe deliveries is a smart security box for your porch, which will keep deliveries from being targeted. These can be pricey but are worth considering if you have frequent deliveries. Add up the value of the goods you’d be protecting, and this might look like a smart move. Many major delivery companies will also rent you drop-off lockers.
  • Consult the experts. There are many companies that provide a full range of services and hardware, as well as 24/7 monitoring to ensure your deliveries are always being watched.

  • The information included here was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and its employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with any training, materials, suggestions, or information provided. It is the user’s responsibility to confirm compliance with any applicable local, state, or federal regulations. Information obtained from or via Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company should not be used as the basis for legal advice or other advice, but should be confirmed with alternative sources.