Porch Pirates during the pandemic; illustration of a pirate composed of cardboard box packages

Porch Pirates and the Pandemic

Following on from our previous article on porch pirates, we look at combatting a growing trend fueled by the problems of our modern world

A Follow-Up

With the current state of the world, such as social distancing and sheltering-in-place, e-commerce is more relevant than ever.

With the influx of online orders, big brands like Amazon and Walmart are stretching their logistical networks to the extreme to fill a demand typically forecasted during the holiday season.

Of course, with the increase in home deliveries, thieves are taking advantage of the situation to plunder more packages. In fact, in a span of 90 days, porch pirates have stolen packages from 25 million households, according to research conducted from May 17 – May 23, 2020 by Clutch.com.

As a response to this growing trend, state legislators have begun to place more focus on the growing crime rate of package theft.

In one example, Michigan increased fines and jail time for repeat offenders. In another, Tennessee legislators are working to pass a bill, making porch pirating a felony and punishable up to 12 years in prison.

Being Proactive

What can you do to prevent your packages from being stolen? Staying proactive with deliveries will reduce the likelihood of your next package being swiped before you get home.

Change your habits

Thieves are wising up when it comes to their sneaky craft. In fact, they are known to track delivery drivers as they make their rounds, then swipe the package minutes after it’s dropped.

When you place an order, it’s always best to be at home to receive the delivery. Otherwise, have a neighbor sign for the package; or leave specific instructions on where to place the package if you are not home. The back porch, storage shed, or other obscure locations will further deter prying eyes.

Create visual obstructions

Out of sight, out of mind. Create a visual obstruction from the road or sidewalk, like a large potted plant, decoration, or outdoor furniture.

Leave specific instructions for the delivery driver to place the packages around or behind them. It’s a quick and unassuming way to protect important packages.

Invest in new technology

With technology becoming more ubiquitous than ever, there are several ways to invest in technology.

  1. Install security cameras to deter potential thieves.

    Many options on the market feature home network connections and a live stream of the camera’s footage that can be viewed from a mobile device. One of the most popular items is the doorbell camera. This simple security measure doesn’t require wiring and is easy to install.

    Alternatively, dummy cameras make great scarecrows for porch pirates. If a camera is visible from the road or sidewalk, thieves are less likely to approach.

  2. Sign up for text or email alerts.

    Informed Delivery, service provided by the USPS, allows residential customers to sign up for email alerts to notify the homeowner on the mail items and packages to be delivered that day.

    Major online retailers also send out updates whenever a package is in transit and has been delivered, which is advantageous when scheduling deliveries.

  3. Invest in a mailbox with a smart locking system.

    A conventional delivery lock box is secured with a code only known to the homeowner and delivery person. When the delivery arrives, the package is placed inside the lock box and locked. Lock boxes are excellent methods to protect items from thieves and weather elements.

How Johnson Electric Plays a Role

b7 solenoid; porch pirates articleAs a leading provider of motion solutions, Johnson Electric has technology capable of supplying a solenoid to fit any locking system. Our new B7 solenoid can be a quick drop-in replacement without the need for added tools to install. Also, with its forward-thrusting nail head plunger design, it can eliminate the need for extra attachment hardware.

For more information, please visit us at www.johnsonelectric.com.

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