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Don’t let porch pirates ruin your holiday shopping – tips for preventing package theft

It is no secret that shopping trends have shifted to more consumers making online purchases, particularly in the years since the 2020 pandemic.

With the increased number of packages being delivered directly to residences, the number of these packages being stolen has also increased.

A 2022 report on package theft statistics by C+R Research claims 90% of survey respondents say they receive a package at least once a month and 55% claim to have packages delivered on a weekly basis. 

While online shopping is oftentimes more convenient for consumers, the same can be said for those brown box bandits wanting to make a quick buck on your new purchase.

The C+R Research report shows that almost one in seven Americans, nearly 15%, say they have been a direct victim of porch piracy at least one time this year, while nearly one-third claim to know someone who has had a package stolen.

While there is not much that can be done to stop nefarious characters from scoping out your doorstep, package delivery experts say there are steps that can be taken to keep your packages safe from thieves.

Liz Reisch Picarazzi, founder and CEO of Citibin, a company that provides solutions to outdoor storage problems, offered a few tips to The Dominion Post on how to prevent porch pirates from ruining your holiday season.

Picarazzi said one solution is to require a signature for UPS, FedEx and Amazon deliveries.

If you are unable to be home when the package is delivered, Picarazzi said to consider having it delivered to a trusted neighbor or, if possible, having it delivered to work.

UPS and Amazon also have lockers available that packages can be delivered to for later pick-up, she said.

For those wanting the extra security while maintaining the convenience of having deliveries to your door, Picarazzi said an outdoor package delivery locker, such as the ParcelDrop offered through her company, is a good solution.

There are a variety of package delivery lockers or parcel drop boxes available through many in-store and online retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart and Amazon, at varying prices and sizes.

If none of these solutions are good options, it is important to be diligent in collecting delivered packages as soon as possible to lessen the opportunity for porch pirates to steal it. 

The report from C+R Research said that about half of Americans choose to stay home when a package is expected to be delivered.  Others take different preventative approaches like installing a camera doorbell or opting to pick up an online order in the store.

Most people, around 60% according to the report, keep a close eye on delivery tracking when packages are expected, while 43% sign up for delivery alerts.

Criminal charges for package theft in West Virginia depend on what was in the package that was stolen.  If the value of the package(s) is less than $1,000, then it is considered a misdemeanor petit larceny charge. If the value was over $1,000, it would be a felony grand larceny charge.

The state’s maximum penalty for petit larceny is up to one year in jail or up to a $2,500 fine. For grand larceny, the maximum penalty is one to 10 years in the penitentiary and up to a $2,500 fine.

While the value of every package will vary, C+R Research said the average value of stolen packages so far in 2022 is $112.30.

Even if you are taking steps to prevent package theft, they still can happen.  If you find yourself a victim of porch pirates, the United States Postal Service recommends filing a report with local law enforcement.  

If you have a package stolen or have information about package thefts, contact your local police department: the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department at 304-291-7260 or the United States Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.

The full 2022 package theft statistics report from C+R Research is available at You can also find more information about package theft by visiting the United States Postal Inspection Service website at