How to Stop Porch Pirates: 5 Best Ways to Keep Packages From Being Stolen

How to Stop Porch Pirates: 5 Best Ways to Keep Packages From Being Stolen

Porch pirates got you worried? You’re not alone. With the rise of online shopping, the convenience of home delivery comes with its own set of challenges, one of the most frustrating being the phenomenon of "porch pirates" – individuals who steal packages right off doorsteps. To combat this, there are several effective strategies that can help you secure your deliveries. In this blog, we’ll delve into five of the best ways to keep your packages safe from thieves.

1. Install a Video Doorbell and/or Outdoor Camera

One of the most effective deterrents against package theft is the installation of a video doorbell or an outdoor security camera. These devices not only help in catching thieves in the act but also serve as a significant deterrent. Let's explore each option in detail.

How Can Video Doorbells Deter Porch Pirates?

Video doorbells are a popular choice for homeowners looking to enhance their front door security. These devices replace your standard doorbell with a unit that has a built-in camera, speaker, and microphone. And what is their role in stopping porch pirates?


Modern video doorbells come with high-definition video and night vision capabilities, providing clear visibility of your front door area at all times. By monitoring who approaches your door, even in low light conditions, you can deter potential thieves. The presence of a visible camera can discourage porch pirates from attempting to steal packages, knowing they are being recorded.

Two-Way Communication

Video doorbells often feature two-way audio, allowing you to speak with visitors remotely through your smartphone. This feature is particularly useful for instructing delivery drivers to place packages in less visible locations. Additionally, if you notice someone suspicious near your packages, you can use the two-way communication to address them directly, letting them know they are being watched, which can scare them off.

Motion Detection

These devices can detect motion near your door and send real-time alerts to your smartphone. This immediate notification allows you to take action quickly if suspicious activity is detected. For instance, you can call a neighbor to check on your package, or alert authorities if you see someone trying to steal it. The instant alert system keeps you informed and proactive in preventing theft.

Evidence Collection

In the unfortunate event of a theft, video doorbells record footage that can be used by law enforcement to identify and apprehend the thief. The high-definition video captures clear images of the suspect, making it easier for police to track them down. This recorded evidence is invaluable in increasing the chances of recovering your stolen packages and bringing the perpetrator to justice.

Can Outdoor Security Cameras Do the Same?

Outdoor security cameras are designed to monitor larger areas of your property, providing extensive surveillance coverage. Here’s how they specifically help in deterring porch pirates just like how video doorbells do.

Wide Coverage

Outdoor security cameras often come with wide-angle lenses and pan/tilt capabilities, covering large areas like driveways and front yards. This makes it difficult for porch pirates to approach your property unnoticed, increasing the likelihood of detecting and deterring potential thieves.

High-Quality Video

Many outdoor cameras offer high-definition video and infrared night vision, ensuring clear footage both day and night. The clarity of the video acts as a strong deterrent, as thieves know they are likely to be identified if they attempt to steal packages.

Real-Time Alerts

Outdoor cameras can send real-time alerts to your mobile devices when motion is detected, allowing you to take swift action if a porch pirate is spotted. Quick responses, such as alerting neighbors or calling authorities, can prevent theft before it occurs.

Weather Resistance

Designed to withstand various weather conditions, outdoor cameras are built with durable, weatherproof materials. This ensures continuous operation, providing uninterrupted surveillance and reducing opportunities for theft regardless of the weather.

Evidence Collection

The footage captured by outdoor cameras provides clear evidence for law enforcement in the event of a theft. High-definition recordings help identify the thief and track their movements, deterring porch pirates who know their actions will be recorded and used as evidence.

With a video doorbell and/or outdoor cameras installed, you create a strong deterrent against porch pirates, enhance your package security, and gain peace of mind knowing your property is continuously monitored.

2. Use Smart Delivery Options

Embracing smart delivery options can significantly enhance your package security. Many carriers now provide advanced features to help you monitor your deliveries more effectively.

  • Amazon Key: This innovative service allows couriers to place packages directly inside your home or garage. It requires a compatible smart lock and camera, ensuring your packages are secure even when you're not home.

  • UPS My Choice and FedEx Delivery Manager: These services enable you to reschedule deliveries, set specific delivery instructions, and redirect packages to a secure location if you won't be available to receive them.

By leveraging these smart delivery options, you can effectively outsmart porch pirates, significantly reducing the risk of package theft.

3. Set Up a Package Locker or Box

Installing a package locker or secure box on your property provides a reliable solution for package security. These secure storage options ensure that only you and the delivery person have access, effectively deterring thieves and keeping your deliveries safe until you bring them inside.

  • Package Lockers: Purchase a package locker that only you and the delivery person can access. Some models even come with built-in cameras and alarms for extra security.

  • Lockable Boxes: Place a sturdy, lockable box near your front door. This simple solution acts as a strong deterrent. Make sure it’s large enough for most packages and secure it to a permanent structure to prevent theft.

  • Shared Lockers: In some neighborhoods, residents share larger locker systems. This communal approach is cost-effective and adds an extra layer of security since multiple users are monitoring it.

Utilizing these secure storage solutions not only helps prevent theft but also gives you peace of mind knowing your packages are safe until you retrieve them. Whether you opt for a personal locker, a lockable box, or a shared system, these methods can significantly enhance the security of your deliveries.

4. Schedule Deliveries for When You Are Home

Preventing package theft can be as simple as scheduling deliveries for times when you’re home. By planning ahead and choosing delivery windows that fit your schedule, you can ensure that you’re present to receive your packages directly, reducing the risk of theft.

  • Flexible Delivery Times: Many carriers offer the option to choose delivery windows that fit your schedule. Pick times when you know you’ll be available to receive your packages.

  • Alternative Addresses: If you’re not home during usual delivery hours, consider sending your packages to your workplace, a friend’s house, or a nearby pickup location.

  • Vacation Holds: When traveling, use vacation hold services provided by carriers. This ensures your packages are held at a secure facility until you return.

By planning your deliveries around your availability, you can significantly reduce the risk of package theft. This proactive approach ensures that your packages are handed directly to you, minimizing the chance of them being left unattended.

5. Customize Your Deliveries

Adding specific delivery instructions can make a big difference in securing your packages. From designating hidden drop-off spots to requiring signatures for high-value items, customizing your delivery instructions helps keep your packages out of sight and reach of potential thieves.

  • Hidden Drop-Off Spots: Request that your delivery person leave packages in less visible locations, such as behind a planter, inside a side gate, or under a bench. This makes it harder for thieves to spot and steal your items.

  • Delivery Notifications: Sign up for text or email alerts to know exactly when your package is delivered. Promptly bringing your packages inside can deter potential thieves.

  • Signature Requirements: For high-value items, request a signature upon delivery. This ensures that your package won’t be left unattended.

Customizing your delivery instructions makes your packages less accessible to thieves and increases the likelihood they’ll reach you safely. By taking these extra steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of package theft and ensure your deliveries are secure.


Porch pirates might be lurking, but with these 5 strategies, you can outsmart them and protect your packages. Leveraging aosu security cameras and video doorbell, setting up secure lockers or boxes, scheduling deliveries for times when you’re home, and adding specific delivery instructions can all significantly reduce the risk of package theft. Implement these tips, and you’ll enjoy your online shopping without the worry of losing your precious deliveries to porch pirates.

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