(WSYR-TV) — With the holiday season rolling around, many are already preparing by booking their travel plans, decorating the house and shopping in stores and online for gifts.
According to a new study by Lombardo Homes, 94% of Americans plan on having packages delivered this holiday season, and with that comes fear about “porch pirates.”
In Lombardo Homes’ study, 1,000 Americans were surveyed about their online shopping habits and their experiences with package theft. According to the study, one-third of Americans report having a package stolen at least once, and for some, it’s been a repeat occurrence.
Out of the 23.8 million packages that are processed and delivered each day by the United States Postal Service, some never make their final destination, and that’s because of thieves or “porch pirates.”
What are “porch pirates”?
You might have heard of the saying, but “porch pirates” are thieves that steal packages from your porch, doorsteps and driveways and are most common during the holiday season because of the number of packages being delivered.
According to the study, half of Americans are scared of “porch pirates” and this year is scarier than ever as 39% say they are worried more about package theft than in previous years.
This fear comes from the prevalence of “porch pirates” throughout time as 34% of Americans admitted they’ve had a package stolen, and more than half admit it happened during the holiday season.
These thieves often try to strike during the busiest shopping times of the year, with 78% of Americans expecting them to steal more after Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
If you’re scared of having your packages stolen, there are some things you can do to help yourself and make it harder for thieves to steal your packages this holiday season.
How to prevent package theft this holiday season
If you’ve been a victim of “porch pirates,” you’re not alone. If you have been targeted once before, it’s best to take steps to avoid being a victim again.
According to the study, 35% of Americans admitted they bought a doorbell security camera or installed a security system after being a victim.
Not only can security systems help, but so can taking steps to track your delivery and sign up for notifications.
More than half of Americans say that tracking the delivery process can help as well as staying home when expecting a package. The report also stated that 40% of Americans sign up for delivery alerts to keep track as well.
However, sometimes homeowners take steps to prevent theft and it still happens, causing some to believe that companies can do more to prevent it.
According to the study, more than half of Americans believe that companies aren’t doing enough to prevent package theft and half believe retailers aren’t doing enough either.
When it comes to punishment for package theft, it’s serious in New York State. According to the Attorney General’s Office, mail theft is a felony under federal law and could be penalized by up to five years in prison.
Although it’s not the number one theft hotspot, New York did rank in the top 20 states to report package theft, according to the study.
If you are a victim of a “porch pirate” this holiday season, be sure to file a police report and consider installing a doorbell camera or security system.
According to Lombardo Homes’ study, 1,000 Americans were surveyed in October 2023 about online shopping habits and their history with package theft. Respondents were 48% female, 50% male, and 2% nonbinary with an age range of 18 to 77 and an average age of 43.
For the package theft hot spots ranking, Lombardo Homes analyzed “more than 460 Google searches and phrases directly relating to package theft and porch piracy and compared the total searches over the past three years per capita.”