6 tips on how to outsmart porch pirates from the University of Alabama

Porch Pirates
Here are 6 tips from UA to keep porch pirates from stealing your joy this holiday. Photo via Tira Davis for The Bama Buzz

Thousands of packages are being delivered, especially during the holidays. You won’t have to worry about your local shop not having what you need. However, you do have to worry about one thing—porch pirates. The University of Alabama (UA) came up with six tips on how to outsmart porch pirates. Check it out.

What is a porch pirate?

Person Using Laptop Computer Holding Card
Will you be shopping online for Christmas? Photo by rupixen.com

Online shopping has become the main way to Christmas shop and packages are being delivered all day, everyday. We may not be able to bring those packages inside as soon as they come. We may be at work at that time. Maybe the package came a day early? This gives porch pirates the opportunity to make their move.

What’s a porch pirate? Porch pirates are people who steal packages that have not been taken inside—they often travel through neighborhoods. UA recently shared six tips to help ensure thieves don’t spoil your holiday by stealing your packages.

Outsmart porch pirates with 6 tips from UA

1. Track your packages

Most shipping companies offer tracking services to let you know when your package is supposed to arrive. They will also send you an alert when the package has been delivered. If you get a notice that your package was delivered, but it’s not there, you should contact the retailer or shipping company immediately. 

2. Get help from your neighbors

If you know a package will be delivered while you are away, ask a trusted neighbor to watch for the delivery and grab the package for safekeeping until you get home. 

3. Give direction on where to leave you package

Some delivery services will allow you to give special instructions on where to leave your packages—like at the back door or front desk of your apartment complex. Did you know that Amazon has a new service that enables delivery drivers to leave your packages in your garage?

4. Have packages delivered somewhere else

Instead of having packages delivered to your door, send them to another location. FedEx will deliver packages for free to a local Walgreens and Amazon can shipped your package to an Amazon Hub Locker near you.

UA does not recommend having packages delivered to your work offices.

5. Install a doorbell or security camera

While a camera may not stop a thief, it may deter them. Plus, the video can be used by law enforcement to catch a thief if your package is stolen.

6. Keep gifts out of sight while shopping

Remember to lock your packages in the trunk of your vehicle when shopping at storefronts. Never leave packages or valuables in seats where they can be seen. 

BONUS TIP: Keep your packages safe and support a local Birmingham company by purchasing the Porch Pod—a storage lockbox to secure online delivery packages.

What UA porch pirate prevention tips will you be using this holiday? Tag us @TheBamaBuzz on socials and let us know.

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Tira Davis
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