The busiest package season of the year is here! With the gift giving season around the corner, packages arriving at your door step are much more precious than before. So what do you do when a package is lost or stolen? Unfortunately, almost 26 million packages were stolen in 2017. When it comes to porch pirates and package theft, we are outlining what do when the unfortunate situation strikes your home
1. Track the package
If you think that your package was stolen, the best thing is to look over your tracking number. This tracking number will help determine if the item is lost with the postal service it was shipped through or if it was indeed stolen. When your package says it was delivered and confirmed at your address, it may be time to contact your local authorities and your postal company. It is normal for shipments to face delays, especially in 2020 with the increase of online ordering and around the holidays.
2. Check your home security network (if applicable)
If you have a video doorbell or an outdoor camera, checking your footage is the next best step. Most security cameras are motion detection based so only activity around your camera will be captured. If a postal worker is coming to your door with your package or if someone is walking up to snatch it, it should be captured on your security camera. Tracking numbers tell you the time that it was delivered so you’re able to match this with the footage on your app that showcases the footage.
3. Check in with your neighbors
Has there been an increase in theft in your neighborhood? This will be a great time to send your neighbors a message to check in to see if package theft is common in your neighborhood. If other neighbors are reporting the same problem, it will be time to move to the last step. Additionally, getting to know your neighbors is great for these situations as it may have been dropped off at their home by mistake.
4. Contact the sender
If the item is something you ordered through a company, it’s best to get in contact with the sender to explore your options and let them know it hasn’t been delivered. Many companies understand the issues of porch theft and have a policy based on what they can do to support you whether it’s resending the product to an alternative option or refunding you. However, this might not be the situation with every company so keep hold of every receipt and tracking number you have available.
5. File a claim with the shipping company
Once you have gone through the previous steps, you will need to set up a claim with the shipping company. USPS, FedEX, UPS and Amazon all have sections on their website to be able to create a claim on your product. If you are in contact with the seller, they will request a claim to be opened in most situations to be able to get confirmation from each party to handle the situation.
UPS: Start a claim here
USPS: Start a claim here
FedEx: Start a claim here
Amazon: Start a claim here
6. Contact local authorities if the issue persists
Unfortunately, it’s common to the experience package theft multiple times. If the issue continues and you’ve received confirmation from your neighbors that they are experiencing it as well, it may be time to more the situation to the local authorities in your area. With more theft in one area, the police are more likely to look into the situation and work with the neighborhood to understand what is happening.
How to avoid package theft:
1. Install a Video Doorbell
The top way to be able to catch a package thief is to keep tracking of the activity on your front porch with your doorbell camera. Being able to get tracking notifications and waiting for any movement on your porch to see it delivered will give a better peace of mind and ensure your packages are safe. When motion is detected, you will receive a notification on your phone so you’re able to open it quickly to see any activity, whether it’s suspicious or your previous package arriving. The Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell has 180° field of view so you're able to directly see packages on your doorstep or under the camera extended safety.
2. Turn on tracking notifications
Many companies now allow text message updates for your package to better help see when your package will be arriving. If you know when the package is arriving, this can help better plan that someone is at the home ready to pick up or make any accommodations, so the package is not sitting out for long.
3. Deliver your package to your workplace or family member
Working all day can make it hard to ensure your packages are being delivered and staying safe. Sending the package to your office or a family member’s home can help keep the package safe and it will be in trusted hands instead of leaving it on your front porch. Getting your package delivered to a nearby Amazon locker can also be another option to be able to ensure your package is left in secure and locked place.