Package Theft Prevention

Package Theft is Getting Worse, Here's What You Can Do About It

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How to prevent packages from being stolen

Having a package swiped is infuriating—but you don’t have to put up with it. Proactive security moves can help keep your goods out of the hands of porch pirates.

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2022 Package Theft Report, sponsored by Vivint

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Vivint is committed to protecting your packages, so we teamed up on our 2022 Package Theft Report. Here are some package-protection best practices from the report:

  • Opt in to delivery alerts. Most retailers or shipping companies allow you to opt in to receive tracking alerts.
  • Require signatures for your packages. Even better, a doorbell camera can alert you as the delivery person arrives!
  • Ensure your doorstep and home exterior are properly lit. Vivint's Spotlight Pro works together with the Outdoor Camera Pro to help detect thieves.
  • Reconfigure camera settings for more coverage. For example, Vivint's Doorbell Camera Pro has a package detection feature, and Vivint's exterior cameras have detection zones.
  • Install a home security system to dissuade or catch porch pirates.

Who's stealing this stuff anyway? And why?

Great questions! We sat down with package theft expert and criminologist Dr. Ben Stickle to learn more about porch pirates and why package thefts seem to be on the rise. Watch our interviews below.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and learn how to protect your home, loved ones, and belongings.

Meet our package theft expert

Ben Stickle

Image: Dr. Ben Stickle

Dr. Ben Stickle is a former sheriff’s deputy and crime scene processor. He’s an expert on policing, metal theft, and porch piracy. Ben has published dozens of academic publications and presented at both national and international conferences (including at the United Nations). He’ss also made prominent appearances in the media, including on Good Morning America and CSPAN.

What to do if a package is stolen

Sometimes—no matter what you do—a package still gets pilfered. We’ve got the steps to take if porch pirates sail away with your booty.

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Package theft statistics

Millions of packages are stolen every year, and it’s only getting worse as more people shop from home. It’s hard to get the full story about how often package theft happens, the value of stolen items, and the success rate for recovery because there’s no central way of tracking it in the US.

How worried are people about package theft?

According to our State of Safety report, Americans worry more about having a package stolen than experiencing violent crime, gun violence, or any other property crime.

To help fill the gap, we’ve been studying package theft for the past several years. Our independent surveys and research have been featured by multiple outlets including CNBC, Marketplace, Woman’s Day, and First for Women magazine. Get the full story in our complete report: Worst Metro Cities for Package Theft.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past decade. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime and safety reports and spotting trends. Her expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like NPR, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of podcast, radio and TV clips in the US and abroad.

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