To build our rankings, we analyzed FBI larceny-theft data1 from metro areas across the US (the most current data available as of ranking). Then, we compared it to Google Trends data in areas with the highest number of searches for "missing package" and "stolen package."
Larceny-theft data and populations for metros were pulled from the FBI NIBRS Estimate tables. Google Trends numbers were pulled for the phrases "stolen package" and "missing package" for the date range 9/26/2022 – 9/26/2023. Scoring was then created by using the same scoring technique from the 2022 data with the addition of scoring for the phrase "missing package” given a third of the weight of the 2022 Google trend weight and "stolen package” given two-thirds the weight of the 2022 trend.⁴
Any metros not reported were either excluded from the FBI estimation tables due to lack of participation in the FBI NIBRS reporting system, or data was suppressed based on NIBRS Estimation suppression rules.
SafeWise Package Theft Survey
The 2023 SafeWise Package Theft Survey used a 13-question online survey fielded in October 2023 using Pollfish. We collected responses from 1,000 respondents across the U.S who’ve had a package stolen at some point in their lifetime. The survey asked participants about their first-hand experiences with package theft.
Respondents were then asked explicitly about their experiences with package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey, including if they experienced it multiple times, the average cost of stolen packages, and any methods employed to prevent package theft before and after experiencing a theft.
Pollfish survey methodology
Pollfish employs a survey methodology called Random Device Engagement (RDE) to reach a vast audience without using monetary incentives. RDE is an evolution of Random Digit Dialing (RDD) and operates within popular mobile apps. This approach leverages a neutral environment similar to RDD and targets users who aren't intentionally participating in surveys.
SafeWise State of Safety survey methodology
The State of Safety is a nationwide survey that dives into America’s top safety concerns. Over the past five years, we’ve surveyed more than 25,000 Americans—at least 500 from every state—to find out about their perceptions and attitudes about safety and crime. The most recent State of Safety survey was fielded January 9 – 24, 2023, by Lux Insights. Lux surveyed 5,000 residents across the U.S. (at least 100 in each state) and based on the number of completes, there is a margin of error (MOE) of ±1.4%. Each state has an MOE of approximately ±9.8%.
One section of the survey is devoted to package theft, focusing on experience with and concern about it over the 12 months prior to the survey. Using the survey results as a representative sample of the U.S. population, estimates for the overall number of packages stolen and the value of lost items were extrapolated to represent the impact of package theft across the nation. Read the full methodology.