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Shoppers look for ways to prevent 'porch pirates'

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packages at door
Nearly a quarter of Americans have had a package stolen before.

With nearly six-in-10 U.S. consumers planning to shop online this year, package theft remains a concern.

According to’s 2023 Holiday Shopping: Porch Pirates Insurance Guide, 59% of consumers will buy items online ahead of the holidays. Meanwhile, 24% of Americans reported having had holiday packages stolen from their doorsteps in the past. The Northeast region had the highest number of respondents reporting package theft with 28%, while the Midwest had the least amount with 17%.

“Population density can play a role in package theft, with homes in urban and suburban areas often reporting more theft than more rural communities,” said the company in the report. “But that isn’t a hard and fast rule.”

The increased concern for package theft comes as 70% of 18 to 29-year-olds plan to do most of their shopping online, and 18% of consumers overall plan to spend more this holiday season than they have in the past, making theft prevention all the more important.

“The thief doesn’t know what’s in there,” said Steve Howard, director of World Parcel Alliance. “It could be a little $3 trinket from Temu or a $3,000 tennis bracelet. But it all comes in the same box, so nobody knows.” 

More than half (54%) of respondents said that this year for their holiday shopping, they are more likely to buy from a local business to avoid having items shipped to their home. Six-in-10 (60%) of respondents 65 and older said they will be opting for local businesses, compared with 48% of people 18 to 29.

To prevent theft, FedEx spokeswoman Allie Addoms said that keeping track of where the delivery is and giving the shipper information about where to leave it is key, with the advent of photo uploads also playing an important role.

“The FedEx Delivery Manager provides customers updates on the status of their package(s) via text and/or email so customers can track their package every step of the way,” she said. 

Many shippers are turning to drop-off lockers in areas of high package theft. They can also help the homeowner with things like returns, automatically measuring the dimensions and printing the return labels. In communities without package lockers, some retailers and big box stores volunteer to serve as drop off locations.

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